Adriana Corral

(American, b. 1983)

Impunidad, círculo vicioso [Impunity, Vicious Cycle], 2015

Ink transferred and layered onto gesso board; 48 x 96 inches

Born in El Paso, Adriana Corral has family ties with Ciudad Juarez, a neighboring city south of the U.S.-Mexico border. Corral’s research-based practice intersects art and activism. With help from journalists, artists, scholars, victims’ families, and human rights attorneys, she addresses human rights violations and themes of memory, erasure, concealment, and loss. Her works have been described as counter-monuments and counter-archives, sites of “conservation and loss, presence and absence.”

Impunidad, círculo vicioso displays the hazed names of 51 victims of violence in Mexico. Eight of these names are the kidnapped, tortured, and raped women whose remains were found in Campo Algodón, a cotton field near Ciudad Juarez in 2001. They are displayed on the left circle. The right circle honors Ayotzinapa’s 43 undergraduate students of the all-male Rural Teachers’ College near the city of Iguala in Guerrero, Mexico, who went missing in 2014 while en route to Mexico City. They were apprehended by municipal police and handed over to the drug cartel Guerreros Unidos in an act of enforced disappearance. They were later burned alive and abandoned in a mass grave.

By naming each victim—both male and female—Corral presents a meditation, acknowledgement, memory, and a practice of quantifying violences that the Mexican government has neglected. Once Corral has typed the 52 names of each of the victims, she prints them out on white paper, moistens a white cotton ball with acetone, and imprints each name by pressing the paper between the cotton ball and the wall. The process repeats for each sheet. The ink eventually overlaps, its legibility fading, replicating the simultaneous presentness and concealment of the vanishings caused by narco-terror and state violence.


University of Houston-Downtown

Girard Street Building, 3rd Floor

On Site x Off Site | Adriana Corral and Vincent Valdez

Watch a recording of the July 30, 2020 artist conversation featuring Adriana Corral and Vincent Valdez. Moderated by Mark Cervenka, director of the O’Kane Gallery and Professor of Art at the University of Houston-Downtown.

Spotlight | Adriana Corral

September 2022 | With an art practice based firmly in historical research, Adriana Corral explores current issues regarding immigration, citizenship, human rights, and labor largely focused on the Texas-Mexico border.

Other Artworks by this Artist

Latitudes, 2019

Adriana Corral (American, b. 1983) Latitudes, 2019 Nine blind embossed prints; ed. 7/10;  each 14