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The S (Selected) Files 2005

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Enthralled on la capilla de cristo by David Antonio       Cruz

The Liberation of Meaning by Richard       Garet

Still from <I>Señor Cambio</I> and <I>Gaseosa Fría</I> by .       caraballo-farman

Untitled by Nancy       Friedemann

Pectorals of Light by Cristina       Hernández-Botero

Vanessa (Dolls Series) by Patricia       Cazorla

Vanessa (Dolls Series) by Patricia       Cazorla
El Museo del Barrio,
Aug 31, 2005 - Jan 26, 2006
New York, NY, USA

Reclaiming spaces: El Museo's Biennial / The S (Selected) Files 2005
by Ariadna Capasso and Diana Korchak

Another attempt to shift and liberate the sign is found in Richard Garet’s The Liberation of Meaning. Whereas Rivera-Toro reclaims the visual space, Garet modifies our auditory ambiance. Garet extracted phrases from a recording of one of Uruguay’s major poets, Mario Benedetti, reading his own poetry and dissected it into hundreds of sound bites. The artist then placed the decontextualized phrases and words in two I-Pods that played randomly. The artist’s intent was to devoid the words of their signification leaving only the quality of the sound. Instead, the words and the voice carry a weight that cannot be erased and The Liberation of Meaning becomes a new poem that is constantly and endlessly being created, one of infinite meanings and significations assigned by each individual at a particular point in time.

Perhaps it is in Carlos Motta’s work, where it is most apparent why so many Latin American creators are concerned with reclaiming their freedom, their actions, and their spaces. SOA #3, a work from the series SOA: Black and White Pain-tings is an audio book in which speeches given by graduates of the school of the Americas, the infamous training grounds for military personnel intervening in Latin America, are modified. Instead of dogmatic affirmations, the deliverers of the speeches are made to question their own words.

A reaction, in different degrees and with different tonalities, against the constant bombardment from the consumer market, is one of the most interesting trend in Latino art today. The artists mentioned above engage the audience by pulling elements from their environment, incorporating them in their work, and returning them under a different light. Armed with the most varied visual tools, the artists in the S Files are actors rather than passive consumers.

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