New York

Gerda Meyer Bernstein

A.I.R. Gallery

Gerda Meyer Bernstein’s installation, Army of the Disappeared, 1989, made the reports of a ceaseless tragedy tangible for those far away from the site of devastation. It was excruciating in its directness and unrelenting in its poetic power. The project included 90 black and white photographs of men, women, and children—civilians from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua—who have been listed as missing. The images varied in dimension, format, quality, and clarity, but all were set in frames painted flat black. Scrawled in white on the back of each frame was the date when the pictured individual was reported missing. Each photograph was supported on a slender metal post; these varied in height from below waist-level to above eye-level. The entire assembly of images was set in a 40-by-20-foot rectangle of black slag. Situated in a corner of the gallery were stones with no inscriptions,

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