Saturday, September 10, 2016
“Todas las Manos” at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center.
The political is personal in all of these shows, but especially in “Todas las Manos” (“All Hands”), a series of five mural-style paintings on canvas. These depict Orlando Letelier, Ronni Karpen Moffitt and Rodrigo Rojas, all killed by agents of the former Chilean government. The artist, who worked on the project with children from the District’s Latin American Youth Center, is Francisco Letelier, Orlando Letelier’s son.
To Washingtonians, these are not distant events. Moffitt and the senior Letelier were killed by a car bomb detonated at Sheridan Circle 40 years ago. Rojas, who died in Chile 30 years ago after being set on fire, grew up in the District, where he was friends with the younger Letelier. Yet the painter recalls these crimes without anger. The mural prominently features a bloom known in Chile as “the flower of reconciliation.”