Art against atrocity | Art Sidebar | Chicago Reader

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Art against atrocity

Mandy Cano Villalobos speaks out silently in Voces



They're called feminicidiosfemicides. According to a 2010 estimate from the International Media Project, nearly 500 women have been murdered in the Mexican border town of Ciudad Juarez since 1993, most of them young, low-income factory workers or students. Few arrests have been made. Mandy Cano Villalobos grew up across the border from Juarez, in El Paso, Texas. For her performance installation Voces, she'll continue a project she started three years ago, silently embroidering the names of the victims onto white blouses. The pink thread she uses recalls the pink crosses that have sprung up in Juarez to honor the dead. Villalobos sees the show as both an "act of mourning" and a call to action. Viewers "assume an implied responsibility" when they patronize companies like General Electric and DuPont, whose Juarez factories, she says, exploit women and contribute to a social climate conducive to femicide. —Sam Worley

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