On Transmitting Ideology

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On Transmitting Ideology

My installation “On Transmitting Ideology” opened this past Friday at the artist run, Philadelphia gallery Vox Populi. The installation presents eleven wooden guns outfitted with radios broadcasting declarations on freedom and transformation in our society.

As I was listening to famous historical speeches concerning U.S. politics, I primarily became interested in the rhetoric that has established “Conservative” vs. “Liberal” ideology in the United States. Unfortunately due to the quality of sound of early 20th century speeches such as an excellent speech by Calvin Coolidge declaring the need for an imperial reach by the United States in the name of liberty, I narrowed the selection to speeches since the second half of the 20th century.

On Transmitting Ideology

The broadcast is 18 minutes long and begins with the famous declaration by Barry Goldwater “I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice and let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.” The broadcast includes an excerpt from a debate between Buckley and Chomsky, and excerpts from speeches by Reagan, Martin Luther King, and Obama. For the most part I left the excerpts intact; it is only with King’s speech in opposition to the Vietnam War that I withdrew “Vietnam”, because his arguments against our intervention in Vietnam parallel all to well the current war in Iraq.

On Transmitting Ideology

Pictured above, in the upper right corner of the gallery on a shelf sit a CD player connected to a miniFM transmitter. On each table are five hand-crafted wooden AK47s and Uzis (one is also mounted on the wall), each gun has an exposed pocket radio tuned to the transmitter.

On Transmitting Ideology

The exhibition also features two recent video commissions that question the outcome of popular notions of freedom, liberty and the power of capital. “Arbol que nace torcido, nunca su rama enderece” (“Tree that is born twisted will never straighten”) is an animation created for the public commission “Carreta Nagua, Siglo 21” (2007) that tells a tale of immigration, aging and cultural and familial loss. Two aging television super heroes, Ultraman and El Chapulin Colorado take the voices of my parents as they look back upon their lives and consider the price of immigration. The video “El Rito Apasionado” (2007) (commissioned for 50,000 Beds) takes place in a hotel room where three Guevarrian Neo-Marxist Latino Terror Revolutionaries from Cuba, Nicaragua and Mexico gather to prepare an act against the history of U.S. intervention.

On Transmitting Ideology

“On Transmitting Ideology” will be open to the public Wednesday through Sunday noon – 6pm. For more information please contact Vox Populi: 215 238 1236

Written by ricardo

March 10th, 2008 at 10:09 am

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