Declassified History: Archiving Latin America


September 19–November 30, 2019


Exhibition will take place in two spaces:

  • Sur Gallery: 39 Queens Quay East, Suite 100
  • George Brown College School of Design: Artscape Daniels Launchpad, 3 Lower Jarvis Street, Gallery adjacent to Auditorium, Room 240


Thursday, September 19, 6-8PM
Sur Gallery

Latin American Speakers Series: VOLUSPA JARPA
Thursday, September 19, 8PM-10PM
George Brown College School of Design

Nuit Blanche Toronto
Saturday-Sunday, October 5-6, 7PM-7AM
Interactive installation Democracy Doesn’t Work for US by Omar Estrada
Sur Gallery’s Courtyard

Exhibition Talk
Saturday, October 19, 4-5PM
Curator engages in conversation with artist Omar Estrada.
Sur Gallery

Exhibition Tour
Saturday, November 30, 4-5PM
PhD candidate in Art History Diogo Rodrigues de Barros will discuss exhibition references to Cold War dynamics in Latin America.
Sur Gallery


Omar Estrada, Habeas Paraíso, 2017.


The exhibition tackles the dark period in history marked by United States interventions in Latin America. Oppressive regimes from the south are explicitly linked to corrupt governments of the north through installations by artists Omar Estrada, Voluspa Jarpa and Iván Navarro as they capture events that may well be repeated in the future. Jarpa’s installations reflect on the nature of the archive, on memory and the cultural notion of trauma. Navarro presents a video performance that comments on the collective psychological trauma of his native country, Chile, combining the visual representation of power with aspects of resistance and memory. Finally, Estrada exposes information about Operation Condor —a non-declared war of political repression and state terror across Latin America in the context of the Cold War. The artists in the exhibition work with testimonials and declassified archives with which we not only witness but become complicit of a hidden history. The artists’ works will allow for a continuous and ongoing discussion around responsibility and accountability.

Curated by Tamara Toledo


Voluspa Jarpa, Everything Fades in the Fog, 2016.

OMAR ESTRADA is a Cuban born Toronto-based multidisciplinary artist. Estrada has exhibited his work for the past thirty years in international events, such as the Havana Biennial (2006 and 2015), the Absolute L.A. Biennial, USA (2003), the Caribbean Triennial in Santo Domingo, D.R (2010), the Asunción Biennial, Paraguay (2015) and the Curitiba Biennial, Brazil (2017). Estrada works with sound, video, interactivity, participatory performance and narrative text. For the past five years, he has been investigating the influence, geopolitical tensions, dynamics and the extraterritorial politics of the Cold War on Latin American history and the impact on the lives of thousands of individuals in the Americas. Estrada is currently one of the curators of Unpack Studio Havana Art Residency and a co-curator of the Asunción International Biennial in Paraguay (2020).

VOLUSPA JARPA is a Chilean artist. Solo exhibitions include: Cuerpo político: archivos públicos y secretos at the Gabriela Mistral Gallery of the Universidad de Chile (2017); En nuestra pequeña región de por acá at the MALBA, Buenos Aires (2017); and L’effet Charcot at La Maison de l’Amerique Latine in Paris (2010). Group exhibitions include: the 12th Shanghai Biennial curated by Cuauhtémoc Medina (2018-2019), The Arcades: Contemporary Art and Walter Benjamin at the Jewish Museum, New York (2017); Resistance Performed – Aesthetic Strategies under Repressive Regimes in Latin America, at the Migros Museum, Zurich (2016); La No-Historia, Biennial of Mercosul, Porto Alegre (2011 – 2015), the 12th Istanbul Biennial (2011); the 8th Mercosul Biennial in Porto Alegre; the 31st Sao Paulo Biennial (2014); The Artistic Experience of History, State University of Rio de Janeiro (2013); and Dislocation at the Kunst Museum of Bern (2009); among others. Jarpa’s works are in collections at the MALBA, Buenos Aires; LARA Foundation, Singapore; Kadist Foundation, San Francisco; Rabobank Collection, Eindhoven; Museo de Artes Visuales, Santiago; and Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, Texas. Jarpa is the selected artist to represent Chile in the 58th Venice Biennial.

IVAN NAVARRO is a New York based artist with recent exhibitions that include: Art and Space, Guggenheim Bilbao, Spain (2018); Una Guerra Silenciosa e Imposible, CorpArtes Foundation, Santiago, Chile (2015); Under the Same Sun, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2014); This Land is Your Land, Madison Square Park, New York, Nasher Museum of Art, Durham, NC, and North Park Center, Dallas, TX (2014 – 2016); 299 792 458 m/s, Gallery Hyundai, Seoul, Korea (2014); Light Show, Hayward Gallery, London, Auckland Art Gallery, New Zealand, Sharjah Art Foundation, UAE, and CorpArtes, Santiago, Chile (2013 – 2016); Iván Navarro: Fluorescent Light Sculptures, Frost Museum of Art, Miami (2012); the Prospect.2 Biennial, New Orleans (2011); HomeLessHome, Museum on the Seam, Jerusalem, Israel (2010); Threshold, Chilean Pavilion, Aresnal, 53rd Venice Biennale (2009); among others. Navarro’s work is held in permanent public and private collections of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York), The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Washington), Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (Richmond, VA), Fonds National d’Art Contemporain (Paris), Towner Contemporary Art Museum, (Eastbourne, UK), LVMH Collection (Paris), Saatchi Collection (London), Martin Z. Margulies Warehouse (Miami), and Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea (Santiago de Compostela, Spain).

TAMARA TOLEDO is a Toronto-based curator, artist and writer. She is a graduate of OCAD University, holds an MFA and is presently a PhD candidate in Art History and Visual Culture at York University. Toledo has curated exhibitions, panels, lectures and workshops focusing on intercultural dynamics in contemporary Latin American art. Toledo has presented her curatorial work at various conferences in Montreal, New York, Vancouver and Toronto and has written articles on Latin American contemporary art for ARM Journal, C Magazine, Fuse and Canadian Art.

Sur Gallery is Toronto’s first gallery space dedicated to the exhibition and critical engagement of contemporary Latin American art and is a project of LACAP.

For information contact:

Sur Gallery Hours:
Tues & Wed 10AM-2:30PM
Thurs & Fri noon-6PM
Sat 11AM-5PM

George Brown College Gallery Hours:
7AM-10PM Mon-Sat

Sur Gallery acknowledges the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts, Canadian Heritage, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, and The City of Toronto through section 37 and its partner George Brown College School of Design.