Discipline: Visual Art – installation

Adriana Corral

Discipline: Visual Art – installation
Region: San Antonio, TX
MacDowell fellowships: Winter 2014

With a minimal aesthetic yet loaded subject matter, Adriana Corral creates installations, performances, and sculptures that are solicitous composites of research, politics, and universal themes of loss, injustice, concealment, and memory.

For the past five years, Corral has researched and created a body of work that corresponds with the human rights violations against disappeared and murdered women, and most recently students in Mexico. She has mined the archives of classified documents used in international human rights courts, unearthed countless names of victims, and with the found material – sometimes literally using soil collected from specific mass grave sites – creates her art. If monuments are built to commemorate the past, to hold on to people we have lost, counter-monuments are made to disappear. They address the past in a conceptual manner, and the relativity and ephemerality of Corral’s installations are attempts towards that same effect. Her work goes through a layered process, beginning with a conceptual framework that is dictated by the research she conducts.

Corral’s installations are seldom crystalized into tangible artifacts. Many times what remains are broken ceramic shards, earth, documentation of the process, and ashes. This notion has a twofold purpose: to restore the past by filing the memory of the victims, and to detonate an expansive consciousness that claims justice and reparations in the present. Anthropologists, writers, journalists, gender scholars, human right’s attorneys, and the victim’s families have provided her with the key data and infrastructure in the formation of her works.



Adriana Corral worked in the Heinz studio.

The icehouse, built of fieldstone in 1914–1915, was a practical part of Mrs. MacDowell’s plan for a self-sufficient farm. Winter ice cut from a nearby pond was stored here for summer use on the property. Idle since 1940, it was a handsome but outdated farm building. In 1995, Mrs. Drue Heinz, a vice chairman of…

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