“Nineteen seventy three” An Artist’s book by Paula Quintela

'1973' Paula Quintela

'1973' Paula Quintela

Artist & guest blogger Normana Wight has reviewed Paula Quintela's artist' s book 1973. The experience of viewing the work  posed challenges that Normana did not anticipate!

Nineteen seventy three, an artist’s book by Paula Quintela  is a unique artist’s book, made in 2012 comprising aluminium slides, solar plates and collographs in a wooden box.

This emotionally charged artist’s ‘book ’recreates the overthrow of democracy in Chile on 11th September 1973, through a series of 95 individual slides. The bloody murders are represented in the red slides, the mass graves in the brown slides, the missing in the absent slides and the impassioned speech of president Allende, just before he was murdered, in the text slides.

A little bit of ‘Q and A’ here;  does the viewing of the piece depend upon the accompanying  photographs of the slides, laid out in order making a very beautiful 95 piece grid?
It is a very emotional, but compact work, hinging on the horror and emotion of a child’s experience.
Even the physical presence of the work has a brutal ‘do not touch’ look. The handsome traditional wooden storage box of slides, is set like a trap. You cannot extract them without cutting your fingers; you cannot view them because they are opaque; is the masking of the images some clue to the work’s meaning? It certainly adds a certain frustration!

Normana Wight

Normana Wight

July 2016


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I really like this piece. I was fortunate enough to see Paula Quintela's exhibition at Bosz Gallery in Brisbane last year. All of her work is densly packed with meaning and emotionally charged.

I love Paula's works , the stories behind them always hit you in the heart !

This topic usually doesn’t interest me, but you have managed to write this article in a unique manner. It’s not boring and I read the whole thing without stopping once.