Folding Monument (Monumento a la revolución de octubre de 1944), 2020. Upcycled cotton canvas, thread, cotton webbing, photograph, shelf.
Installation views, Nada Concreto, solo exhibition, Proyectos Ultravioleta, Guatemala City.
Photos: Margo Porres.
This Folding Monument is a scale replica of a monument commemorating the 1944 Revolution to overthrow Guatemalan President Jorge Ubico. Over his 13-year dictatorship, Ubico modeled his repressive social policies on those of Adolf Hitler, and he built diplomatic relationships with the U.S. through his support for the United Fruit Company and its American stakeholders. In June of 1944, after months of protest begun by schoolteachers and farmers, more than 50,000 Guatemalans marched on the national plaza demanding Ubico’s resignation, and workers across the country participated in an economic strike. Despite support from the U.S. and the Guatemalan military, the country was hobbled by the protests, and Ubico resigned in July, fleeing to New Orleans, where he died in 1946. This monument to the popular uprising and optimism of 1944 is located in the rapidly gentrifying Zone 4 of Guatemala City, and often goes unnoticed by passersby.
Text written in collaboration with Laura August