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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


    Art in Death: Ciudad Jarez Murders at SAC Gallery

    A new form of mass murdering, referred to as femicides, is occurring rapidly within our world today. Women, both young and old, are disappearing, only to be discovered dead, having been raped or tortured.

    Some might even call these the lucky ones, because often, these women are never returned to their loved ones. Families are left hopeless, with their imaginations running rampant, filling in the tragic pieces of their daughter, their mother, or their sister’s disappearance.

    On Thursday, Oct. 4, an opening reception and a panel discussion was held at the Student Activities Center Gallery to promote this highly emotional topic. The exhibition was entitled ‘More Than 450 Women Have Been Murdered in Ciudad Juarez and 600 are Missing. All Since 1993.’

    A combined effort of several bodies resulted in the creation of this charging event. Curator Keith Miller has designed a simplistic, eye catching, inspirational and’ awe-filling experience to feature the works of several artists, including Patricia Yossen. Yossen’s’ unique contribution includes six place settings containing desserts, set atop a white linen tablecloth in the middle of the gallery floor.

    On Thursday, the panel discussed the ‘crime and injustice [that is] going on’ in this area of the world, where a certain level of corruption and silence has developed. Eduardo Mendieta, a scholar’ from’ Latin America, spoke about the three archetypes of women in this society, and the consequences of their existence. Background was also offered on’ Mexico’s culture and location, including’ its current political climate, social environment, and unsettled economic position.

    A personal favorite was the piece entitled ‘Field,’ created by Ryan Sarah Murphy. It’ comprises of two large glass jars, connected at the mouthpieces, standing vertically on the supporting pedestal. Upon first glance, the eye is attracted to the uniqueness of the shape, and the pink cloth buried within the bottom jar. Although they are torn and dirty’ pieces of clothing beneath a smooth surface of dirt,’ they quickly’ become a heave-full of crumbled, rocky debris.

    Murphy explained, ‘I wanted to make a piece that suggests both exposure and concealment, a transparent container that both displays and obscures the content within’hellip;It is my hope that this piece conveys an uneasy sense of compression, suffocation and solemn anonymity.’ And that it does.

    Increased concern has risen because of the labor put forth by many organizations involved in the dissemination of this tragic information. Many ask, ‘What can I do to help?’ Simply understanding the reality of what is happening, as well as spreading the information about these injustices, is good enough in itself.

    Becoming actively involved is another option. There have been many instances where the press has been notified, and getting the media involved can be a step in the right direction. Legal support and local, as well as national, governmental involvement can also create positive results.

    For more information on how to get involved, contact the associations involved with this exhibit. These include Sigma Lambda Upsilon, Senoritas Latinas Unidas Sorority, Inc., and the Latin American and Caribbean Studies department (LACS).

    Additional information (on the murders) can also be found on the web, at An in-depth description of the exhibit, containing links to each of the artists involved, and images of their works, is located on the Gallery’s website: The exhibit runs until Nov. 4.

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