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Exhibition Title: Terremoto

Artist: Michelle Campos Castillo

Opening: July 8th, 6-9pm

Exhibition Dates: July 9th-August 13th, 2022

On October 10th 1986, a magnitude 7.5 earthquake struck El Savador’s capital city of San Salvador. It was a defining moment in a decade of unrest: 6 years into a civil war that would continue on through the early nineties, the earthquake added devastating punctuation to an already fractured political and cultural landscape.

The ground shifted, and out of reach of falling debris, a hammock swung.

Terremoto is an exhibition by Edmonton-based artist, designer and illustrator Michelle Campos Castillo. Based on her own memories of living through the 1986 earthquake, Castillo’s work combines graphic representation of childhood experiences—she was 3 years old at the time —with other forms of memory work: audio interviews, archival materials and video recordings of her mother, sisters and father. The exhibition evades the sharp edged, front page narrative of natural disaster, and softens instead into a body of work that encircles a moment in time with overlapping narratives of community care. The woven hammock—a Salvadoran staple— became a place of refuge for Castillo and her sisters, as they slept outside to avoid the danger of crumbling architectures. As a tool and a metaphor for survival, its intertwined supports mirror a community and a family structure whose dimension Castillo intimately explores.

Terremoto consists of site-specific wall pieces, installation, audio and video media works and a publication. Materials will be available in both Spanish and English. This is the artist’s first exhibition in Vancouver.

Michelle Campos Castillo is a Salvadoran visual artist living in Edmonton. She has been the recipient of  several public art commissions from the City of Edmonton, including Platanos, a set of three sculptures on permanent display at Belvedere Transit Centre, and is currently producing artwork for the LRT Valley Line in the west end of the city. A frequent collaborator with artist Vivek Shraya, she has provided art direction and photography for Vivek’s Trisha photo series, graphic design for her Lambda Literary Award-nominated book, What I Love About Being QUEER, and VS Books, the artist’s imprint with Arsenal Pulp Press.

Terremoto is curated by Vanessa Kwan.

Digitized Programming:

Publication catalogue:

A companion catalogue for the exhibition with curatorial text by Vanessa Kwan, an exhibition essay by Michelle Campos Castillo, and interviews of Michelle and her family in English and Spanish.
Visual description available: Plain Text, Audio.
A free printed copy is available in gallery while supplies last.

Artist Talk:

Michelle Campos Castillo’s artist talk. Link opens on vimeo with English captions and transcript via google docs.
Summary: Artist talk with Michelle on July 8th, 2023.

Creative Access Audio Tour:

Creative Access Audio Tour of the exhibition. Link opens on SoundCloud (external link).
tour por audio de acceso creativo. El enlace se abre en SoundCloud (enlace externo).
Listen to a visually described tour of Terremoto, written and narrated by Keimi Nakashima-Ochoa in English and Spanish.
English transcript available: Google Doc, Plain Text, PDF
Transcripción en español disponible: Google Doc

Virtual Walkthrough:

In 2022, we provided our visitors with the opportunity to walkthrough this exhibition via a 360° experience. While no longer available or interactive, this is a short video of the experience so visual audiences can experience the layout of the space.

Image: Terremoto by Michelle Campos Castillo. Photo by Dennis Ha.

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