Torture of Women, by Nancy Spero, reviewed at Guernica Magazine.

Still from Torture of Women by Nancy Spero

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Torture of Women , Nancy Spero. Publ 2010, Siglio Press.

The latest edition of Guernica Magazine includes a review of the Spring 2010 publication  of Torture of Women  by Nancy Spero. I am linking this review at the bottom of this small piece, along with a link to the publication notes.

There is a Nancy Spero image on the site already, accompanying another piece. It is from the 1976 series of Torture of Women , based on the 125 ft piece by Spero. This Spring 2010 , Siglio Press published the work  in book form in a 126 page cloth bound edition which is reviewed at link by Guernica Magazine.

“With an essay “Fourteen Meditations of Torture of Women by Nancy Spero” by Diana Nemiroff; “Symmetries,” a story by Luisa Valenzuela; and an excerpt from The Body in Pain: The Making and Unmaking of the World by Elaine Scarry. ”

(from the Siglio Site)

The Guernica Magazine slide show opens with references to Pinochet, a byword in torture and repression . It interests me greatly as a writer that the names of the disappeared get lost in our histories whilst the name  of the Torturer gains a notoriety and cachet which seems to point to a great attraction to fear. I wrote an obituary for a great woman writer who spent her life investigating and resisting Pinochet and was nominated for a Nobel prize. She collected testimony and wrote works of fiction and non-fiction based in the Pinochet era, her name, Patricia Verdugo is mostly ignored in Western Media ! We recognise  and rationalise the work of torturers thus giving them a validation that they ill-deserve. Thatcher notoriously invited him to tea in England.

Women artists and writers like Frida Kahlo, Anna Politkovskaya, Patricia Verdugo and Mirjam Tuominen have grappled with the themes of torture and have attempted to redress the balance.  This volume of Spero’s artwork will continue with that work of  engagement at visual artistic levels. There seems to be little in artistic analysis and dialogue in this most pressing of feminist engagements.

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