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Peltz Gallery explores representations of violence

Six-week exhibition is product of collaborative project between live artist and Birkbeck researcher

A new exhibition at the Peltz Gallery focusing on representations of violence, showcases the outcome of collaboration between a London-based Chilean artist and a Birkbeck researcher.

“Tejas Verdes: I was not there” runs at the gallery in the School of Arts (43 Gordon Square) from Friday 3 June to Friday 15 July. The exhibition is the outcome of a collaborative project between sociologist Dr Margarita Palacios and visual artist Livia Marin. Bringing together Palacios’s research on violence and Marin’s work around loss and care, the project consisted of visiting several ex-detention and extermination sites in Chile – such as the Tejas Verdes concentration camp – and the performing of an aesthetic intervention in each of them.

The result of the intervention is the production of a series of abstract realist objects that register traces of the material remains of these sites, marking the materiality of the violent event in its multiple layers of meaning and yet registering its unreadability. This aesthetic intervention explores the possibilities of representing violence without reproducing it and the challenges of non-colonizing experiences of witnessing.

The exhibition also includes a photo projection of numerous images of both sites and objects, aiming to document the places and the experience of collaboration. The collaborative project is part of an itinerant exhibition and academic events that starts in London in June 2016 and then visits Berlin and Vienna. In each opportunity there will be an exhibition and an academic event organised with Birkbeck, Lateinamerika-Institut, Freie Universität Berlin, and the Institut für Kunst- und Kulturwissenschaften, Akademie der bildenden Künste in Vienna. The project will the continue touring to Buenos Aires and Santiago de Chile during 2017.

The exhibition’s opening reception at the Peltz Gallery will be held at the gallery on Friday 3 June from 6-8pm. The following week, in room B04, School of Arts, a roundtable titled,The Aesthetics of Witnessing: A Conversation about Violence and the Challenges of its Representation” will be held. Running on Thursday 9 June at 6pm as part of the Birkbeck Department of Psychosocial Studies’ summer programme 2016, the event will feature live discussion between top academics:

This event is sponsored by our MA in Psychosocial Studies programme. Find out more about the roundtable event here (attendance is free but booking is essential).
“Tejas Verdes: I was not there” runs at the Peltz Gallery from 3 June to 15 July. Further information, including gallery opening times can be found here.

The collaborative research project was funded by The Leverhulme Trust and FONDART (Chilean National Fund for the Arts and Culture) and the itinerant exhibition has been made possible through the funding of DIRAC (Chilean Office of Cultural Affairs) and the support of the Centre for Iberian and Latin American Visual Studies (CILAVS), Birkbeck College.

Get involved: Opportunities for Students

  • Birkbeck students are invited to participate in one or both of the following opportunities.
  • 1. Text based around the theme of the exhibition: The exhibition team would like to open an in-depth discussion of ‘Tejas Verdes: I was not there’ and invite students to send us written pieces that reflect the particular views on the theme of the exhibition. The articles will be published on Birkbeck Events blog and Peltz Gallery's website. Email with the subject  'Article Tejas Verdes' and a written piece of c.1,000 words by 15 July.
  • 2. Exhibition reviews: Students are invited to visit the exhibition and submit their reviews. Please send your reviews (c.500 words) to  with the subject 'Reviews Tejas Verdes'  by 27 June. The reviews will be published on Birkbeck Events blog and the Peltz Gallery website. The articles and reviews will also be used to support the collaborative research project between Margarita Palacios and Livia Marin.

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