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Bajo sospecha, part 1 El delincuente por el (d)efecto, part 2 Retrato hablado [Under Suspicion, part 1 Delinquent by (d)efect, part 2 Composite Sketch]

1998
20th century
170.8 cm x 130.8 cm (67 1/4 in. x 51 1/2 in.)

Bernardo Oyarzún Ruiz (Llanquihue, Chile, 1963 - ) Primary

Object Type: photograph
Artist Nationality: Latin America, Chilean
Medium and Support: 3 Digital inkjet prints on fiberboard; 1 digital print, plastic, and vinyl...
Credit Line: Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Gift of the artist, 2005
Accession Number: 2005.196.1/4-4/4

Under Suspicion is an autobiographical work that refers to a real event. The artist was walking along a street in Santiago when he was detained and forced into a police car. The police claimed that his face matched the photograph of the crime suspect. After this traumatic experience, Oyarzún made this work that he describes as a form of “self-therapy.” The photographs are self-portraits taken by the artist. The drawing is taken from the police file of the real criminal. The text is the official police description of the suspect: “He has black skin, like an atacameño [a person from the Atacama desert]; straight hair, strong fat lips above a wide chin, a narrow forehead, as if without a brain.” Under Suspicion reveals some of the racial and ethnic prejudices present in Chile, a country proud of its white, European heritage.

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