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Censored in 1970s Guatemala, a Hamlet-Inspired Play Is Restaged in LA

Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa features five LA-based performers wearing costumes deigned by the artist and continues a tradition of theatrical resistance.

Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa, “Corazón del espantapájaros [Heart of the Scarecrow]” (2016/17), performance​ at Fundação Bienal de São Paulo​ (courtesy of the artist, commissioned by Fundação Bienal São Paulo and Los Angeles County Museum of Art, © Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa, photo Tiago Baccarin/Estúdio Garagem/Fundação Bienal de São Paulo)
Guatemalan artist Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa explores the complex and often traumatic histories of Latin America through a diverse practice of performance, video, and sculpture. His work Breve Historia de la Arquitectura en Guatemala (A Brief History of Architecture in Guatemala) (2010)for instance, featured performers wearing paper costumes of a Mayan Pyramid, a colonial church, and the modernist National Bank of Guatemala, whose traditional Guatemalan dance devolves into chaos until their costumes are destroyed.

In conjunction with the PST: LA/LA exhibition A Universal History of Infamy — featuring 16 artists who eschew a straightforward conception of Latin American Art — Ramírez-Figueroa will present his performance Corazón del espantapájaros [Heart of the Scarecrow]. It is inspired by the 1962 political play of the same name by Guatemalan playwright Hugo Carrillo, which itself is based on Hamlet. That play was the focus of government repression in the mid-70s when its director received death threats and the theater where it was being staged burned to the ground. Ramírez-Figueroa’s restaging — or “rewriting” of the play as curator José Luis Blondet noted — features five LA-based performers wearing costumes deigned by the artist, and continues this tradition of theatrical resistance. The performance is also free to attend.

When: Thursday, October 26, 5:30pm
Where: Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) (5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles)

More info here.

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