Assisted breathing: Developing embodied exposure in Oscar Muñoz's Aliento

Amanda Jane Graham*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The Colombian artist Oscar Muñoz's Aliento (Breath) - 10 steel discs, photoserigraph with grease - is an experiment with materials. On the surface it is minimalist - art about the surface of art, the stuff art is made of. Yet Muñoz's surfaces are deceiving, for his images become clear only when viewers breathe on them. With a breath, sepia photographs of desaparecidos - young Colombian men proclaimed "disappeared" by their government - appear and momentarily return viewers' gaze. As the condensation fades on the mirror-like metal, so do the images. Here the aesthetic disappearance parallels the corporeal-political one. For a moment, viewers recognize the "Other" in their own reflections and in so doing begin to comprehend how Muñoz's piece forces the repetition of the moment of encounter and in the process uncovers hidden truths.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-73
Number of pages11
JournalLatin American Perspectives
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2012


  • Aliento
  • Disappearance
  • Embodiment
  • Oscar Muñoz
  • Photography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Sociology and Political Science

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