Leon Ferrari: The Words of Others

To celebrate the opening of its newest exhibition, The Words of Others: León Ferrari and Rhetoric in Times of War, Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) joined forces with local community figures, artists, and actors to host a live public reading of Argentinian artist León Ferrari’s 1967 publication “The Words of Others”.

Written during the Vietnam War, The Words of Others was composed as an extensive dialogue among various characters, including President Lyndon B. Johnson, Adolf Hitler, Pope Paul VI, and God. By means of a cut-and-paste exercise of quotations selected from history books, the Bible, newspapers, and magazines, the work associates the atrocities of war and the representations of redemption and punishment in religion.

Over a period of eight hours, a cast of 33 readers gave a contemporary voice to the text. Some of the readers participating include:

  • Adler Guerrier, Local renowned artist
  • Aidil Oscariz, Vice President of Policy and Advocacy at Catalyst Miami
  • Alexandre Arrechea, Local contemporary Cuban artist
  • Carmen Peláez, Award-winning local actress
  • Cathy Byrd, Local curator of Fresh Art International
  • Felice Grodin, Local artist whose augmented reality exhibition, Felice Grodin: Invasive Species, is on view at PAMM
  • Francesca Menes, Director of Policy and Advocacy at Florida Immigrant Coalition
  • Jason Fitzroy Jeffers, Miami filmmaker and Director of Third Horizon Film Festival
  • Judi Wertheim, Renowned Argentine artist
  • Leopoldo Maler, Argentine film director and artist who directed the first reading of an excerpt of “The Words of Others” in 1968 at the Arts Lab in London
  • Mark Handforth, Renowned sculptor, in PAMM’s collection, on view at ICA Miami
  • Meena Jagannath, Co-founder of Community Justice Project/movement lawyer
  • Mitch Lemos, Renowned actor

About The Words of Others: León Ferrari and Rhetoric in Times of War
Originally organized as part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA (2017–18), an initiative of the Getty Foundation, this exhibition presents works by León Ferrari (b. 1920, Buenos Aires; d. 2013, Buenos Aires)—one of the most emblematic and provocative figures in 20th-century Latin American art. With a particular emphasis on the literary collages that played a central element of Ferrari’s practice, such as The Words of Others, this exhibition presents works that remain unpublished or have experienced minimal circulation as limited editions or sketchbooks. It offers a new perspective on Ferrari’s work while exploring the aesthetic forms of political intervention that emerged in Latin America in the 1960s. This profoundly contemporary project examines the obscenity of war, the ways the media represents conflict, and the role of political and religious discourse in the expansion of Western culture.

 

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