Artistic encounters
in war and violent conflict
 

Marisa Cornejo

Marisa Cornejo Visual Artist

Marisa Cornejo is an artist who circulates between Chile, France and Switzerland, producing work that centres around drawing her dreams to give voice to and interrogate her body as an archive of the history of forced migration.

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Marisa Cornejo
Switzerland / France / Chile
Visual Artist

The artist

Marisa Cornejo is an artist who circulates between Chile, France and Switzerland. Starting in 1994, when studying visual arts at National Autonomous University of Mexico, she began drawing her dreams as a personal diary. Since then, this has been the basis of her artistic practice, a practice for giving voice to and interrogating her body as an archive of the history of forced migration.

Marisa grew up in the midst of the coup d’ état of Chile in the early 1970s, probably the most famous of the many neo-colonial coups and dirty wars that plagued Latin America at that time. Her practice opens a dialogue with the many layers and knots of that event. She uses her dreams to inspire real-life performances, interviews, paintings, textiles, films and texts. One of her recent projects – La Huella – uses a dream to revisit the places of memory to activate her father’s archive as a refugee. This work was created as part of her master’s research in visual arts and critical studies at the Geneva University of Art and Design (HEAD) in Switzerland.

Artistic practice

Dossier sans suite

Dossier sans suite is the first project wherein Marisa began using her dreams to archive the documents that testify to the damage suffered as an unrecognised refugee child in the 1970s and 80’s. She writes, “Through this work I reactivated my own archive which was kept by my father Eugenio Cornejo and used these materials to research what is currently happening in Europe with the so called ‘asylum seekers’”.

About the work, curator Luz Muñoz writes

Through the work with Dossier sans suite I reactivated my own archive which was kept by my father

“Inviting us to a critical reflection on the right of asylum and the status of refugees, [Cornejo] introduces us to the human and legal situation of the people facing this condition. From this point she opens a dialogue about stories of yesterday and today, inviting the spectator to get closer to this reality in two spaces of time.”

Dossier sans suite was shown at Standard Deluxe and funded by Fondart Chile.

El Milagro Chileno

For the project El Milagro Chileno, Marisa explored the cost of the Chilean miracle, a neoliberal think tank inspired by the Chicago School of Economics in Chile during the dictatorial regime of Augusto Pinochet. The harsh policy reforms implemented to create this reformist “miracle” exacted a large human toll on every day Chileans. The exhibition was held in the Galería Metropolitana and supported by Fondart Chile.

Open House

Open House is inspired by an article in Le Monde Diplomatique by Aminata Traoré and in response to questions posed by curator Rodrigo Aldana. By drawing and painting her recurring dreams about the sea and migration, Marisa’s work centres around the wall Europe has built to limit refugee in-migration and questions who and what decides who can cross this wall.

All images/videos used on this page are copyrighted by the artists, unless stated otherwise.
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