Howl! presents a piece by artist/activist Freda Guttman, who writes “In the 1980’s, when a genocide of the Mayans of Guatemala was raging, I created a large multi-media installation, “Guatemala: The Road of War” - a small attempt to focus on events that were for the most part absent from Canadian mainstream media.
The work was exhibited in 11 artist-run galleries across the country. One unit of the installation was a series of small boxed dioramas depicting scenes of the genocide which I made by cutting, folding and curling coloured drawings I had made on paper to achieve some 3-dimensionality, and then fit them into boxes. They were inspired by Goya's etchings, “The Disasters of War”, works that he created about the Napoleonic invasion of Spain.
Recently I decided to photograph the images to make a series of prints, as a way of returning to that history. The nightmare for the Guatemalan people is not over and though diminished, violence still rules.”
Freda is a native of Montreal, has been a practising artist for over 45 years. In the 1980’s she quit teaching art in order to situate her work into the realm of the political beyond art galleries for a participatory and broad range of viewers. She created two very large installations which toured Canada extensively for several years, in artist-run centres: “Guatemala: The Road of War” and“The Global Menu”. She has also created several small installations about the Palestinian struggle.
In 2003, she co-curated an exhibition, “Artists Against the Occupation”, with Rawi Hage in Montreal and has shown her work in numerous “Artists Against the Occupation” exhibits all over the world. She recently completed a continuum of five installations globally entitled, “Notes From the 20th” which was a ten year project.