[-empyre-] curating the faith that can move mountains

Ana Valdés agora158 at gmail.com
Thu Apr 12 04:59:53 EST 2012

Haha,  Johannes! Sorry if my bad formulation made you (and others :) to
believe it was Alfredo's installation which is now safeguarded for eternity
(I think the Mormons have a claim that the Lord is going to keep them,
their chosen relatives and Salt Lake City as preserved remnants of
Humanity, when the powers of Armageddon are loose :)
The images in the vault are Mandela's and the Moonlandning, not Alfredo's
But why not? Alfredo Jaar's work with the genocide in Rwanda, the Rwanda
Project, is worth to be kept safe, one of the most powerful Artworks I know,


The Eyes of Gutete Emerita haunted me for years when I saw it.



On Wed, Apr 11, 2012 at 5:57 PM, Johannes Birringer <
Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk> wrote:

> Ana, you have the best stories!
> I am delighted to hear that Jaar's "The Lament of the Images" has been
> collected into a safe vault
> in Salt Lake City! This must be a good investment.
> Pedro,  interesting story you tell, as well.
> The "reading" of the text always happens, of course, and then again, i
> wondered how the readings are
> constructed (apart from the receptions that always take place by people
> coming and hearing seeing tasting
> and smelling the obects or the performances or the event) by whom and for
> whom and through what
> channels and when do such texts become "directed" at reception and
> collection?  All museum catalogues are curated, and directed at reception.
> You mention "Espai de l'Intent"  and Alys, and my story then would be a
> reminiscence, something i had felt troubled by
> (possibly sharing the beforementioned Robert Smithson's scepticism).
> I remember coming across conceptual artistic gestures that I find hugely
> poetic, but also immensely futile.
> Francis Alÿs’s "Cuando la fe mueve montaña" [When faith moves mountains]
> is one of these futile gestures, enacted on 11 April 2002
> by five hundred volunteers forming a single line across a sand dune on the
> outskirts of Lima, Peru.
> As the day was progressing they worked to move the sand just one shovel
> forward across the entire dune.
> The gesture was filmed and photographed, and later exhibited at a biennial.
> The seemingly meaningless earthwork was then “read” into the context of
> the city’s recent history and socio-economic situation [which i do not
> know] and is said to have created an urban legend that is still performing
> work today [which i cannot ascertain].
> But it didn’t change the rules of the game, how could it?
> The work also did not exist, well, it only existed through and for its
> photographs, film, and "oral legend" or narrativization  (in good
> earth-work style), the latter partly probably constructed
> by the artist himself (or his curators and agents).
> I attach a photo I had saved when i first came across "Cuando la fe mueve
> montaña"
> and it is befitting the catholic easter holidays, wouldn't you think?
> no one has mentioned the role of religion and the spiritual yet, in
> connection with curating, so the Church, powerful patron and curator of the
> arts, is forgotten?
> faith forgotten?
> But faith does move mountains.
> Ah, and Pedro, you said something charming in regard to literature and
> dance:
> >>
>  interesting what you say about writing -- i actually feel that
> literature, like anarchism, is still largely unexplored : a narrative can
> organise a universe and only dancers can compare in the minimal equipment
> required
> >>
> i'd like to probe into the anarchist side, with you,  but i can tell you
> when you come to my dance performances, we need
> a long time to set up our laptops, projectors, sensors, cameras, and
> prepare the system design for an interactive piece....... no minimalism
> anymore i am afraid.
> respectfully
> Johannes Birringer
> dap-lab
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"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with
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