Single channel video installation

Galerie Stadt Sindelfingen, Sindelfingen, 2020

Rose Art Museum, Boston, 2019

De Pont Museum, Tillburg, 2021

La casa encendida, Madrid, 2019. Photo by Roberto Ruiz

In recent years, Peru went through a fierce internal conflict period, which brought nearly 70,000 deaths; perpetrated by the Military and two armed groups: Sendero Luminoso and Movimiento Revolucionario Tupac Amaru. The narrative officialised by the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission established the beginning of the conflict in 1980 – Sendero Luminoso’s declaration of war – and the end on the year 2000 – with the fall of the former president A. Fujimori. While rounded numbers and historical periodisations do help to grasp the scope of violence, the official narrativisation has also the effect of marking the period as a time of exception – an exception that appears, apparently, resolved. Nevertheless, 19 years after the official end of the conflict, 16.000 missing people and 6.000 unexhumated mass graves are still waiting to be grieved.

Generally speaking, current exhumations and postmortem efforts to identify buried victims in mass graves strive to ‘restitute’ their personhood, to determine the legal death and to confer the family the possibility for grieving. In the Peruvian case where the corpses are reduced to bones, it is both the forensic archaeologist and the forensic anthropologist who ‘restore’ the victim's identity. During the fieldwork, the forensic archaeologist exhumates and recovers the human remains, which are later taken to the forensic anthropologist for the laboratory analysis and the definitive identification. In between those two interventions, the remains hover in a suspended transitional legal status between “missing person” and the official declaration of its death.

Liminal takes place during that transitional state and respond s to the subjects that are in a limbo of legal recognition, on the threshold of the subjecthood, the recognisable and the representable.


Director | Maya Watanabe
Director of Photography | Sebastián Díaz Morales, Maya Watanabe
Sound | German Popov, OMFO

Special thanks:
Dirección General de Búsqueda de Personas Desaparecidas del Ministerio de Justicia y Derechos Humanos de Perú, Equipo Forense Especializado del Ministerio Público Fiscalía de la Nación de Perú, Comunidad de Tastabamba, Centro Poblado Nueva Villa Paraíso and the victims' families. Also to Gredna Landolt, Carmen Rosa Cardoza, José Carlos Agüero, Sofía Macher, Daniel Lagares, 80mts Livia Benavides gallery (PE) and Tegenboschvanvreden (NL).

The video has been produced by the Han Nefkens Foundation and supported by Mondriaan Fonds