Luis Camnitzer's exhibition, Memorial at Alexander Gray Associates consisted of a large-scale new work that the artist completed in 2009. In this 195-part artwork, Camnitzer replicates the Montevideo telephone directory, in which he has meticulously inserted the names of the Disappeared in Uruguay. During the military dictatorship that ruled the country between 1973 and 1985, nearly 300 Uruguayans were victims of forced disappearances. Working with lists of names culled from public resources, Camnitzer used digital techniques to create space in the ready-made phonebook and added lines of type, resulting in the reappearance of hundreds of names that are now indistinguishable from the names in the original phonebook. In this way, Camnitzer renders useless the very action of list-making and counting–political or otherwise. At the same time, the work levels roles of target and perpetrator, victim and survivor, prisoner and liberated.
Camnitzer has addressed the Uruguayan dictatorship in many previous artworks, including his seminal print portfolio, Uruguayan Torture Series (1983), which was a centerpiece of Documenta 11 (2002). Memorial is presented in Fall 2010 at the Museum Wiesbaden, organized by Volker Rattemeyer.