Sueño Americano
(American Sleep/Dream)
representation of a project never realized (1999 - 2011)
x200 más
Curator Cristina Schiavi
Centro Cultural Recoleta, Buenos Aires
press (in Spanish): 1 2
Projects that have never been carried out or that would be impossible to realize were convoked for this show, held in connection with Argentina's bicentennial. This project would have consisted of replacing the sleep masks usually provided by airlines with ones embroidered on the inside with the American flag.
The proposal for this show was a challenge from the very start - my notebook of ageing, not (yet) carried out projects is always bursting at the seams. I chose this project because it seemed to me to be the most impossible of the lot; as regards the rest, I still harbor some faith that some day, somehow, they will finally be realized. My choice was not made in terms of it being directly related to the bicentennial or the theme of 200 more [years]; the curatorial concept of representing what hadn't yet been able to come into existence was in itself already a strong commentary, and an ideal way to celebrate. However, time flies far faster than the stipulated timelines for cultural events, and now, as the year 2011 draws to a close, it seems to me that the implications of Sueño americano (American Sleep/Dream) has more to do with Argentina (and my relationship with it) than I would have initially thought.
The project's impossibility lies in the extreme restrictions developed and implemented in the name of terrorism as a global threat, in light of which it would be unthinkable to carry out an intervention in an airplane without incurring grave legal consequences. I have no interest in preparing the bait for guaranteed censorship, and even less in causing a scandal for its own sake. What I am interested in is articulating profound concern for a system that eliminates the very values that it purports to protect (represented by the catch-all American Dream), not tooth and nail but with wildly lethal weapons and more wildly lethal weapons, while the vast majority choose to cover their eyes and ears, not only to the annihilation of their own rights and future prospects but also to the abhorrent acts perpetrated against others. This is how the sleep mask emerged as a metaphor, along with the plane, it being a vehicle that allows one to fly over the world instead of being a part of what happens there.
Nevertheless, over the past several months, people have been pawing at the veil over their eyes, and more and more people are looking at and listening to what goes on there and in the rest of the world, actively taking part in it all. Argentina is not my native country; I only arrived here (from the US) in 1995. It may be on account of having chosen rather than inherited it that I hold it so dear, who knows. It has always made a very strong impression on me as being a country deeply dedicated to looking at, listening to and analyzing-no matter how prickly and painful that may be-its past and present, looking inward as well as to the ties that stretch beyond its boundaries. Even in the darkest moments, people here draw on vast reservoirs of hope. It must be rubbing off on me, because not only am I moved by the historical moment being experienced here today, but also have hopes that I may see the day come when my piece Sueño americano ceases to make any sense.
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