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Voluspa Jarpa
Minimal Secret

To make Minimal Secret (2012), Jarpa created sculptures based on pages of declassified CIA information about the United States’ involvement in Chile. The cutouts in the acrylic represent the content that was blacked out when the pages were released to the public. For Jarpa, that so much content from these documents was deleted before declassification is symptomatic of hysterical behavior, which, in Freudian psychoanalysis, results from the inability to deal with trauma. Jarpa reclaims the blots of the original documents as the structure of the artwork, mimicking the same denial of access that entered them into classification in the first place. By working at the juncture of the public and the secret, the artist aims to question how images and materials construct notions of public and private, transparency and opacity. The documents’ promise of disclosure ultimately materializes as repression, given that barely anything remains legible.

Voluspa Jarpa’s work is based upon a meticulous analysis of political, historical, and social documents from Chile and other Latin American countries, which she uses to develop a reflection on the concept of memory. Specifically exploring many facets of the cultural notion of trauma, her work might be seen as a subtle and covert examination of history, its subjectivities, constructions, and still-unresolved mysteries. Her work addresses such subjects as displacement, insecurity, abandonment, and destruction, and the means of representation of the pictorial image that represents these subjects in history.