Unedited conversations between artist in a productive critique discovering thesis and processes behind the work.
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Conversation between Joseriberto Perez and Olivia Ramos.
Single channel video with sound, 3 min., 25 sec.
PEREZ: what got my attention in the Caribbean show at PAMM is the diverse interpretations given to the ocean/waters that surround, separate, and connect.
two works in particular exhibit these polar ways of interpreting the ocean or water. On one hand, Javier Bosques’ video “Iris”, representing the cleansing and rejuvenating aspects of water, how it clears away for the renewal of life.
Regina Jose Galindo
Tumba (Tomb), 2009
Documentary Video, 2 min., 4 sec.
on the other, Regina Jose Galindo's video “Tumba” is a visceral performative interpretation of the countless lives lost at sea, depicting the ocean as a vast known receiving all that’s been given to it.
Through the show, the ocean as subject is given a diverse range of expressive qualities
RAMOS: I'll start with “Tumba”, I remember that one well, the small boat dumping bodies in the ocean
the video seemed simple, the ocean has always been a dumping ground
those are more modern day interpretations of what the ocean can hold or our relationship to it. The examples in the show, while being universal, are also particular to the history of the people and the places they come from
Regina is from Guatemala and the piece is depicting the dumping of human bodies, there’s something there about the lack of human value
or maybe not - there is also a version of returning to the earth, instead returning to the water
she is dumping bags of sand that as a viewer we make the local historical connection and read it as bodies being thrown overboard
they are bags of sand that happen to be the same size and shape as human bodies
if she wanted the viewer to think bags of sand she would have made them standard size
Guatemala has been accused of genocide, over 200,000 people killed or disappeared during Operation Sofia
yes it speaks in a loud way to the manner in which people have been treated and moved around as well as the lack of value and consideration for human lives
you mentioned a second piece by Javier Bosques. I remember this video having a lady spraying water upward in some kind of terrace
she was making a rainbow with the water - she was at peace feeling the spray falling upon her
“Iris” I believe depictes the artist mother spraying water into the sky creating a rainbow and also watering the plants and using the water as a symbol of rejuvenation
I see why you think water plays an inverse from “Tumba”
I can also see it as the same role with a different scale; a spray of water cleanses his mother's body while a body of water cleanses genocide
yes your right and in that scale the shift is big, i wouldn't say “Tumba” depicts the ocean as cleansing but rather a container or retainer of a violent history
the ocean mutes violence, blurs the lines of bodies, quiets the event - which for me is cleansing
I disagree because the video shows the bags falling till they reach the bottom of the ocean - which is seldom seen
I see your point, because the truth is not far away
it would have had the effect of cleansing if the bodies disappeared into the abyss
or if they floated away to never land
but they don't, they sink to the bottom with the rest of them, lingering. The ocean holding the story with in it
more like sweeping it under the rug, it momentarily makes it seem like nothing ever happened
momentarily - quick fix - human nature