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Beatriz Santiago Muñoz
Esto es un mensaje explosivo
November 5 - 28, 2010
Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, Esto es un mensaje explosivo, 2010, video 17 minutes

In collaboration with Carlos Torres López

Esto es un mensaje explosivo is a film in two parts about the construction and meaning of an event which persists in unofficial and rumored histories of art in Puerto Rico. In 1979 Carlos Irizarry, a Puerto Rican artist, boarded an American Airlines plane and threatened to blow it up in support of the liberation of Puerto Rican political prisoners. The event is sometimes referred to as a work of art, as a political-symbolic action, or as terrorism, and at yet other times the event is stretched around the hazy figure of national hero, or artiste maudite. The film starts off from an interview with Irizarry shot on three different occasions and in which he refers to the action as a work, as a symbolic act, and in which at times he insists in the political meaning of the work to the exclusion of any aesthetic or art considerations, and yet also returns to its symbolic meaning and continues to regard as it as a “work”. In a second part, dancers Beatriz Irizarry Gauthier and Carlos Torres López respond to the structure of the event as a set of commands performed in Carlos Irizarry’s home and studio. They draw, plan and perform the event, departing from a political, historical or rational attempt to understand the event. They use the structure to overcome and escape its logic, to break up the taxonomy it is locked into and arrive at a much needed not rational elsewhere.

Beatriz Santiago Muñoz is a mediamaker and artist living in San Juan, Puerto Rico. In 1997 she received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She works with non-actors to create absurdist improvised performances that comment on social relations. Her work has shown in the US and abroad, including Taos Talking Pictures festival, the Museo de Arte Moderno de República Dominicana and E-Flux in New York. She was featured at the Louvre Auditorium and in PR04 [Tribute to the messenger], a biennial art event in San Juan, and completed a residency at Gasworks in London. She organizes an itinerant alternative and experimental film and video series in Puerto Rico, alternatively titled Proyector and 1/15. She was a guest curator of the 2da Trienal Poli/Gráfica de San Juan: América Latina y el Caribe in 2009.

Curated by Elisabeth Subrin