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Maker(s):Torres, Francesc
Culture:Spanish (1948-)
Title:Untitled from Dark is the Room Where we Sleep
Date Made:2007
Materials:Digital print on fabric panel
Measurements:Housing: 72 1/4 in x 48 in; 183.5 cm x 121.9 cm; Each Sheet: 68 3/4 in x 47 1/2 in; 174.6 cm x 120.7 cm
Accession Number:  UM 2014.41.B
Credit Line:Gift of Francesc Torres
Museum Collection:  University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMASS Amherst

Currently on view

Detail of a Spanish civil war-era mass grave from 1936, uncovered in 2007.

Label Text:
Exhibtion label text from Faint/Hidden/Shrouded: Contemplating Obscurity (March 27-May 10, 2024):
At the forefront of FAINT/HIDDEN/SHROUDED, Francesc Torres’s two photographs from the triptych Dark is the Room Where We Sleep (2007) encapsulate the exhibition’s central theme. Documenting the exhumation of a mass grave in 2004 at Villamayor de los Montes, province of Burgos, these images are powerful symbols of obscured narratives and deliberate concealment, setting the tone for the exploration waiting visitors throughout the gallery. Revealing a somber reality, Torres addresses the consequences of fascism in Spain and the loss of human life during the tumultuous period of conflict and civil war under the dictatorial rule of Francisco Franco.

The selected images from the triptych portray natural scenes and excavation sites, revealing human remains hidden amidst rubble and dirt. Photographers and archaeologists work similarly to call attention to absence. Torres, like an archaeologist, compels us to look at objects in a different, disturbing way, bridging the exploration of trauma, silence, and absence. These haunting photographs provide a lens through which the overarching theme of obscurity unfolds, encouraging visitors to seek what is faint, reveal what has been hidden, and acknowledge what has been shrouded. - Graduate curators: Ruthie Baker, MFA Studio Arts; Simone Cambridge, MA History of Art & Architecture; and Olivia Haynes PhD in the W.E.B. DuBois Department of Afro-American Studies, UMASS

crime; deaths; funeral rites and ceremonies; human rights; military; mourning; photojournalism; punishing; violence; wars

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