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Intimate openings through prison walls.

Liberty has often been symbolized by open doors or windows. Painters, poets and musicians have used these images as openings on the path to understanding Man. Today, liberty has attained universal dimensions.

Overwhelmed by a consumer-oriented society and the loss of paradigms and dogmas, Man has turned inward. He ponders the essence of his free will, asking himself where he is going and what his limitations are. Windows and doors now acquire new meaning, taking on a greater corpulence.

The photographs of Uruguayan Oscar Bonilla vividly capture all of this. Where they were taken is inconsequential, since almost every corner of the globe has witnessed periods in which liberty has been stifled, detained behind bars, or trapped amidst stones and the disappearances and lamentations of a somber drama. Heavy metal bars and thick stone walls that barely permit light to pass through define the outline of a never-ending solitude. These evocative photographs provide an insightful view of a world that is both desolate and luminous.

The texture of the paper, the images and the deserted walls speak of the importance of protecting those small and precious spaces of individual liberty--spaces which have been safeguarded and projected into the future by today's strengthened democracies.

Rather than depicting Man literally, Bonilla has opted to bring forth his imprints, gestures, even the ghosts of his aspirations and inner complexities. This labor of love invites us to participate in the concretizing of a world that is bleak yet deeply meaningful. By following the footprints and reading the signs, ultimately we learn to listen to the song of liberty.
COPYRIGHT 1993 Organization of American States
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Beramendi, Fernando; Bonilla, Oscar
Publication:Americas (English Edition)
Article Type:Illustration
Date:Jan 1, 1993
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