“Apertura Colombia”

Colombian photographers tell graphic stories at the Station Museum of Contemporary Art

The graphic images in the 14-artist show “Apertura Colombia” aren’t always easy to look at. Jesús Abad Colorado’s black-and-white photography of life in the war-torn country includes images of a funeral parade. Hundreds of mourners fill a narrow street, and several of the men carry more than a dozen coffins on their shoulders. Another photograph shows a young, barefoot girl walking down a dirt road, passing an armed soldier. Yet another shows a teenage girl soldier standing by a fence; on the fence is a sign that says, “No Maltrate los Niños Son el Futuro” (Don’t Mistreat the Children They Are the Future).

José Alejandro Restrepo is displaying a video in a claustrophobic black box. Sitting inside on the simple bench, viewers watch clips of two young girls (who know they are being taped by hidden cameras) and a man who sexually abuses them (who obviously doesn’t know about the camera). After the man finishes raping both girls, a police official comes out of his hiding spot to arrest him. After that disturbing — and very real — event, the tape was later leaked to the public, becoming a perverse porn movie. Scenes of the girls’ whispering to the cameraman to hide and the offender’s entrance are interspersed with the offender’s arrest and reactions of officials who are shocked at the film’s release.

Andres Sierra shows viewers photos of couples having sex, not simulated sex, but actual, graphic sex (several photographs clearly show penetration). There is nothing romantic about the scenes — this is hump-and-grunt stuff, which seems out of place in a museum setting. Adding to the sense of confusion, the men in the photos are each missing an arm or a leg, or have some other deformity. Their oddly shaped bodies are both mesmerizing and repulsive. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays to Sundays. Through May 18. 1502 Alabama. For information, call 713-529-6900 or visit www.stationmuseum.com. Free.
Wednesdays-Sundays, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Starts: March 8. Continues through May 18, 2008

 
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