Bearing Witness to Child Abuse and Trauma in Pilar Acevedo’s Multimedia ‘Fragmentos’ Exhibition

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was held at the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago (2013-14). This article analyses the exhibition and the artist’s website focusing on the way in which Acevedo tackles the challenge of bearing witness to the trauma of child abuse without having first-hand experience of the trauma she represents and without turning it into a spectacle which feeds our fascination with seeing pain. It discusses Acevedo’s relationship to abject art and proposes that she uses fragmented dolls as signifiers which bring the physical experience of abuse into iconic presence capturing the viewer’s attention without causing them to turn away in horror. It highlights the significance of her multimedia and intermedia approach which reflects the way in which trauma disrupts memory and draws the viewer into the artwork making them an active participant in the construction of meaning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105
Number of pages32
JournalBulletin of Spanish Visual Studies
Issue number1
Early online date11 Apr 2018
Publication statusEarly online date - 11 Apr 2018


  • Pilar Acevedo
  • art
  • multimedia


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