The Words of Others (Palabras ajenas) is the first full English translation of the Argentine artist León Ferrari’s uncompromising literary masterpiece (1967). A critique of the Vietnam War and American imperial politics, the book weaves together hundreds of excerpts from newspapers, periodicals, works of history, the Bible, and other sources. Ferrari conceived a dialogue among supposed voices of authority, insisting on the equal complicity of individuals such as Hitler, Lyndon Johnson, Pope Paul VI, and God in perpetuating unending cycles of violence. This translation results from nearly three years of work, including thorough investigation of Ferrari’s sources. It accompanies an exhibition of seminal works by Ferrari, curated by Ruth Estévez, Miguel A. López, and Agustín Diez Fischer at the Gallery at REDCAT as part of Pacific Standard Time’s Los Angeles/Latin America initiative, which will see the text performed by a cast of over forty artists, actors, and other recognized figures.
León Ferrari (1920–2013) was an Argentine artist whose work in literary collage, sculpture, and a range of other media confronted the abuse of power in politics and the church.
Ruth Estévez is a writer, curator, and set designer with interdisciplinary interests in performance, architecture, and social change. She is currently the director and curator of REDCAT/CalArts Gallery, Los Angeles.
Miguel A. López is a writer, researcher, and chief curator of TEOR/éTica, a center for exhibitions, research, and publications on Central American and Caribbean contemporary art in San José, Costa Rica.
Agustín Díez Fischer teaches art history at the University of Buenos Aires and is director of Fundación Espigas, an archive that preserves documents related to Argentine and Latin American art.