In our small region near here
I have recently found documents related to forensics where it read that Salvador Allende, president of Chile, may have not committed suicide, since he has bullet exit wounds which do not conform to what Chile’s History has mentioned regarding his death at the coup in 1973. Pablo Neruda’s body has also been under investigation for an alleged poisoning, and Eduardo Frei, former president has been confirmed for poisoning with Saringas. The same happened in Brazil with the deaths of presidents Joao Goulart, Jocelino Kutbischek, and Carlos Lacerda, all of them “died” in a period of 6 months between 1976 and 1977, freeing the opposition path for the Brazilian Military Regime. These elucidation or necessity to investigate has surfaced after 40 or 50 years and they could change the official history of these countries. From these facts, I think it is necessary to make them visible.
This piece consists on a portrait gallery -selected from investigations on murders, alleged assassinations and unclear deaths –of public figures in Latin America who had important administrative positions in the governments or in civil or religious organizations within a country’s administration. At the time, these deaths entail change in the course of the country history and of course in the region. Likewise, the want of legal justice, the suspicion veil falling on them, has also had social and ethic consequences in these people and their future policies.
With archive images, a contrast between both historical situations implicit in this biography is proposed: The portrait (photogram) of the person, opposing the brutal record of violent deaths or the public commotion of funerals (painting). The general installation will show a regional genealogy and historical chronology. The idea of changing history through the sustained elimination of unsuitable or opposing leaders for a determined system results in the confrontation of these images.
Through the investigation of declassified files of the CIA we may verify that many of these crimes were joint actions of state terrorism plotting with North American agencies. Due to the abovementioned, besides images, the piece arranges tables with dossiers of each case file, by reviewing the American and the legal files.
These dossiers are available and linked with each other to make visible the continental plot behind these deaths. The materialization of this network of files will be arranged as the investigations on these documents are carried on.
The third element of the Project is a video projected on the wall with the piece Translation Lessons. This piece involves the recipient’s language difficulty to access this material and also the ideological and symbolic dimensions derived from the English language and its hegemony since these files make you understand how historical facts are generated in a higher contamination space and relationship of a historical plot between countries. One could say these documents –and everything generated by the political operations kept secret–are the proof and byproduct of this relationship, and therefore, they lead not only to specific information, but also reflect a political procedure and system.
Translation Lessons is a work where a Chilean artist (Voluspa Jarpa) hires an English teacher (Nicolás Poblete-novelist) to learn the language. This lack of knowledge about English has brought about problems along her life. The student-artist proposes a plan to the teacher: learning English through the translation of CIA’s chronologically listed declassified files. This learning work includes textual transcription of documents, pronunciation, as well as reading comprehension tests related to the subject. It entails a first year of collection and production of video and translation material. The work itself will last until the translation is completed, which will last several years, where the protagonists will face the documents, their information, and resulting reactions. They will also be changing and getting older along with the process. This piece will be shown at different periods of its development, starting with an annual edition, where the artist will be acquiring the English language and access to the information/no-information of the documents, being this the first exhibition.