hotel/panamá

Digital video and audio installation (2010 - 2014). Dimensions variable (1 – 4 screens, projections or monitors, 1 - 10 headphones and/or amplifiers and speakers) 2 hour loop or 22 minute single screen. Audio produced with Pierre Archambault.

Artist’s Statement: At the cut, from the wound

In hotel/panamá, the practice of a decolonial aesthetics is a process of unfolding time, space and story. The Panama Canal is the cinematic field for this engagement. “The Land Divided, the World United:” This is the phrase that adorns the seal of the Panama Canal. Whose land? Whose world? The narratives of the Canal are multivalent: It is a site of contestation, of coloniality and de-coloniality.

The land is continually divided, and the world united, across multiple bodies, territories, time-spaces.

My body is there, as is my mother’s. Our narratives collide and co-exist with other mothers and lost children. The hotel in the title refers to a single administration building, which became the School of the Americas, and is now a resort hotel. In this edifice we find apparitions and shadows. Fragments are gathered and reordered to build other knowledges, a decolonial symbolics. There are many horizons and beings. We see and hear them together.

Exhibitions:

Challenging Everyday Militarisms and Bridging Communities of Women. Rutgers University.
Curated by Annie Fukushima and Suzy Kim in conjunction with symposium, “Rethinking the Asia Pivot: Everyday Militarisms and Bridging Communities of Women.” Screened as single channel work, also exhibited as 24 channel installation. December 2014.

Decolonial Aesthetics. Group exhibition curated by Walter Mignolo, Hong-An Trang, and
Miguel Rojas-Sotelo. Fredric Jameson Gallery, Duke University. Exhibited as two channel installation. May 2011.

Frames. GASP Projects Space, Boston, MA. Group exhibition curated by Neil Leonard and
Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, in conjunction with artist residency at Berklee College of
Music. Exhibited as installation with single monitor, headphones, and suspended light. December 2010.

Estéticas Descoloniales (Decolonial Aesthetics). Espacio Parqueadero, Museo del Banco de la Republica, Bogotá, Colombia. Group exhibition curated by Walter Mignolo and Pedro Pablo Gomez Moreno, with three sites and symposium, including the Museo de Arte Moderno-MAMBO and SALASAB. Exhibited as four channel video projection. October 2010.

Related publications:

Benfield, D.M. “Cambiando la Ruta del Canal de Panama.” In Estéticas y opción decolonial. Eds.
Pedro Pablo Gomez and Walter Mignolo. Bogotá, Colombia: Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas, 2012. Available at http://issuu.com/paulusgo/docs/esteticas_y_opcion_decolonial

Gomez, P., and Mignolo, W. Estéticas Decoloniales. Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas. Bogotá, Colombia, 2011. Available at http://issuu.com/paulusgo/docs/est_ticasdecoloniales_gm