Artists  Continent  Americas

Maya Watanabe


Liminal responds to the 6,000 un-exhumed mass graves and 16,000 missing persons of the Peruvian internal conflict and that today, almost 20 years after the official end of the genocide, are still awaiting recognition.

During an exhumation, the remains found enter a limbo between the status of "missing" and the forensic analysis that restores the identity, determines the legal death and confers the possibility of grieving. Liminal is situated on the threshold of the recognisable and the representable, between being a non-subject and being a recognised subject. Grieving is both a personal experience of loss and sorrow, and a political act. It is a way of making political – as well as an act against – the suffering and oppression of others. Grief acknowledges that the life, suffering, and death of a body matters. 


Liminal proposes cinema as a suturing space where it is possible to recognise, or at least glimpse at, ungrievable deaths by politically reframing the representation of violence.

The video has been produced by the Han Nefkens Foundation and supported by Mondriaan Fonds. With the collaboration of EFE – Peruvian Specialised Forensic Team – and the Peruvian General Directorate for the Search of Missing Persons.

Maya Watanabe​


Video installation

Year: 2019

Duration: 64min

Video produced by the Han Nefkens Foundation

Born 1983, Lima , Peru
Works in Amsterdam and Madrid 


Liminal, solo show, La Casa Encendida, Han Nefkens Foundation - ARCOMadrid Prize, Madrid, 26.02.19 - 30.03.19


2nd Wuzhen Contemporary Art Exhibition, Wuzhen Art District, Wuzhen, 30.03.19 - 30.06.19

Liminal, solo show at MAXXI - National Museum of 21st Century Art, Rome, 01.06 - 06.06

Liminal, solo show at Rose Art Museum, Massachusetts, 22.06 - 30.08

At the fringes of identity, MUST Museo storico di Lecce, 20.06.19 - 08.09.19

At the fringes of identity, MAC Museo d'Arte Contemporanea di Lissone, 29.09.19 - 24.11.19

Journey of Thousand Miles, CAC Quito, Quito, 17.08 - 17.09

Liminal, solo show at MALI, Art Museum Lima, Lima, 21.08

A Terceira Margem, Anozero, Bienal de Arte Contemporânea de Coimbra, Coimbra, November


Produced by the Han Nefkens Foundation and supported by Mondriaan Fonds. Photo by Charles Mayer, courtesy of the Rose Art Museum