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Interviewed while assembling the installation at the Museum of Antioquia, Rolf Abderhalden explained:
"The origins of this work of Mapa Teatro date back to a project we initiated in 2009 about a particular Colombian festivity, where the line separating festivities and violence is extremely tenuous and fragile. From this popular celebration of a community of African descent in Colombia’s Pacific coast, we developed a project called Santos Inocentes, and this is one of the variations we made for the Medellin Encounter 2015, where we took a small fragment and developed and amplified it through a video installation of a mechanical figure and a video projection on a graphite wall."
"What is special about this traditional festivity is the paradoxical relationship with pain, recalled through the whip that the townsmen, dressed as women and transgressing the role of the colonial master, lash onto the unmasked population."
"The pain inflicted on the bodies by the whip is a way of remembering the pain caused to the people of African descent during colonial times and all the later violence suffered in the region. But at the same time it is a paradox, it is a moment of liberation, an act of civil resistance. The festivity acts as a liberating force in order to cathartically exorcize the very conflict this community suffers, always subject to the forces of the state, the paramilitary forces or the forces of the armed conflict of Colombian guerrillas. Thus, in this celebration we experiment a paradox, and we found particularly interesting transposing it to this device."
(Translation from Spanish: Marina Torres)
© Video: Binder & Haupt
Interview with Rolf Abderhalden about the video installation by Mapa Teatro at MDE15, and the paradoxical relationship with pain during the traditional Afro-Colombian festivity.