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View of “Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa,” 2017. Photo: Bruno Lopes.

Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa

Kunsthalle Lissabon

View of “Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa,” 2017. Photo: Bruno Lopes.

Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa operates at the border between performance and installation art. His works often seem like enclosed sets brought to life via the performative, or they may, as in his recent exhibition “Shit-Baby and the Crumpled Giraffe,” appear as the remnants of a past event, shaped through an act of remembering, analyzing and contextualizing one’s (national) history through personal memory.

Ramírez-Figueroa was born in Guatemala in 1978—that is, in the middle of its lengthy civil war of 1960–96. His practice has long been marked by that history. But only in this latest work has the artist engaged with the theme through his childhood memories. Reminiscent of a Freudian dream, the installation Shit-Baby and the Crumpled Giraffe, 2017, seemed calculated to draw its viewers into what one could only assume to be the artist’s subconscious. We became silent but complicit

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