Friday, 2 June 2023

Textile Details

'Aquí se tortura / Here they torture', Anonymous. (Photo: Colin Peck)
'Aquí se tortura / Here they torture', Anonymous. (Photo: Colin Peck)


Title of Textile:Aquí se tortura / Here they torture
Maker: Anonymous
Country of Origin: Chile
Year Produced: 1978c
Size (cm): 69cm x 61cm
Materials: Scraps of material hand sewn onto burlap
Type of Textile: Arpillera

There is a traditional background for this arpillera but it is significant that the sun is absent and the mountains are bleak. In fact, the whole arpillera is very dark and sombre, a reflection, perhaps, of its topic.

The maker of this arpillera is depicting her personal experience of torture. In the yellow room, she is being tortured on the table. Significantly, she portrays herself on her own, as she does not think she can speak for other women's experiences. She represents her very personal and painful experience, which she wants others to know about. She uses silk, unusual in arpilleras, probably to contrast with the harshness of the experience and turn it into something more bearable to recall. The blue cars are those of the Chilean secret police.

Also significant in this piece is the fact that the torturers and the person guarding the door are all women. Chile had hundreds of torture centres during the dictatorship, some of which were gender specific while others were mixed. This work indicates that the maker was being held at a torture facility for women only.

Owner: Private collection
Location: Germany
Original / Replica: Original
Photographer: Colin Peck

Textile exhibited at: The Politics of Chilean Arpilleras, 8/02/2008 - 19/04/2008
Chilean Arpilleras , 11/09/2008 - 11/10/2008
The Politics of Chilean Arpilleras, 23/09/2008 - 23/09/2008
Stitching Resistance, 12/10/2010 - 16/01/2011

Textile Detail Image(s)