30000: A Set of Four Books
In these four bookworks Reznik recounts the violence of Argentina’s last civil-military dictatorship. She has centered her work on the 30,000 dead and disappeared.
“The danger of banalizing past state violence and forgetting its tangible, visceral realness is one that exists throughout the Southern Cone of Latin America. In an effort to revive the memory of Brazil’s military dictatorship, it is useful to look to neighboring countries and share experiences and methods for communicating collective trauma. Here, Artememoria shares Argentinian artist Mado Reznik‘s installation series entitled 30000. Here, Reznik meditates on the statistic 30,000: the symbol of the number of people disappeared because of state violence during the last civil-military dictatorship in Argentina. The number includes the 500 kidnapped children and the 5 fetuses found in the wombs of mothers who were kidnapped and killed.
“Using allegorical forms, the artist focuses on making the gravity of this number felt. She does not need to address the justifications and explanations espoused by those who negate these events — instead, she focuses on the violence itself. One can find interesting parallels when comparing this body of work to the exhibition 'Hiatus: Memory of Dictatorship Violence in Latin America', exhibited in São Paulo’s Memorial da Resistência and featured in Issue 1 of Artememoria.” — "Mado Reznik Remembers 30000" (Artememoria, published March 7, 2019)
Book 1, 30000 Nuditos: A piece made with 30000 knots made by Reznik with lamp strings. One compartment is open (with the number) because the concern about violence and genocide is always possible in many different ways. 30000 is a symbolic number because we still don't know how many people were murdered. The whole piece is designed as to be seen by any angle.
Book 2, 30000: a book with 30000 small holes and no words.
Book 3, 500: The dictatorship kidnapped 500 children most of them still today don't know their identity. Reznik used an old Spanish book ¨La voz de los niños” (The children´s voice) then put 500 knots inside. Reznik says “If you take a look to the counter cover it says that the book has been approved by the Church´s censorship. In my country part of the Roman Catholic Church helped the dictatorship.”
Book 4, Cinco (5): The anthropology forensic group discovered five fetuses in women's wombs thrown alive into the sea. The tides brought the corpses to the shore. It was possible to identify that those women were pregnant, probably the women didn't know. Reznik made an envelope looking like a bureaucratic file. She used five tea bags with lamp strings painted with red encaustic.
Mado Reznik (self-published)
Latin America, Argentina, civil-military dictatorship, missing persons, violence, death
Collection contains four separate books.
Reznik, Mado, "30000: A Set of Four Books" (2023). Rollins College Book Arts Collection. 92.