Persistent Memories, Painting on Glass
By Paula Meninato
Memorias Persistentes (Persistent Memories) is an exhibition that focuses on what the military dictatorship could never take away. For this exhibition, I researched the stories of many Desaparecidos by interviewing their relatives, their loved ones, watching documentaries, and reading published sources about their stories. The research component was a crucial part of the development of this exhibition. I found much inspiration in the work of the Madres and the Abuelas. They persist in their search for truth while understanding that their loved ones are still present in their own memories.
When people hear that 30,000 people were disappeared during Argentina’s military dictatorship, it is easy to look at the statistic as opposed to the feeling. Each of those 30,000 disappearances inflicted real pain on the missing people and their loved ones. By telling individual stories, we can see a glimpse of their lives, their stories, which allows us to feel sympathy.
While the ‘Dirty War’ occurred more than 30 years ago, it is crucial to understand that history repeats itself: systemic violence continues to occur in many parts of the world. It is easy to view tragedies as simply numbers, or dismiss their importance because they do not affect us directly. With my work, I hope to instigate an awareness of how political decisions affect real people. I believe that if everyone carried this intention with them throughout their day, there would be less suffering.
August 10 – September 11
Wednesday, August 19
From 6 to 8 pm
On view Monday-Friday 3-5 pm
Embassy of Argentina
1600 New Hampshire Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20009
(M) Dupont Circle
About the artist
In 1993, Paula Meninato was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her mother, Silvana Cardell, is a choreographer who founded a dance school and performing space in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where Paula had significant exposure to visual images of dance. The artist considers her mother to be the most influential figure in her work and her childhood as a precursor to her passion for art.
In 2001, the Argentinian economy collapsed. The instability of the Argentinian economy influenced her family’s immigration to Philadelphia, where they currently reside. During her junior year of high school, Paula’s father traveled to Mexico as a visiting professor at the University of Monterrey (UDEM). Paula studied abroad at the UDEM’s high school, where she audited university level art and art history classes. Upon her return to the States in 2010, Paula began preparations for her college applications and portfolios. Her commitment and determination lead her to be awarded a full tuition presidential scholarship based entirely on her portfolio to Tyler School of Art. She has also studied abroad at Temple Rome.
Currently, Paula aims to establish herself by exhibiting her work and participating in artist’s residencies.