Geometría

Video, 2’25", 2012

The video Geometría is part of a larger exhibition, La Estrategia, shown at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris in 2012. This exhibition, consisting of sculptures, installations and videos, was developed around the history of Colombian revolutionary groups in the 70’s, of which the artist’s parents were part. These communities invented rules and physical and mental exercises for their daily life in order to prepare for the revolution. Constrained by their rigid ideology, they lived absurd situations that the artist asked young Colombians to re-experience.
Argote has based this project on this nonsense utopia, creating false archives.
Geometría is shot in a rainforest, an atmosphere marked by humidity and gunshots. Two girls take turns shooting with a single pistol, while indicating their place of origin or the place where they would like to be, using vague statements such as “over there”. The camera is static centred on the two girls, so that we cannot see where the shots end.
These unclear claims of place, associated with the gunshots, are a reflection on the influence that our place of origin has in our lives. Questions like “where are you from”, “where do you live”, “where do you go” are representative of massive social control, the artist explains, which the two girls attempt to reject by shooting in the direction of the place they belong to. They express the often contradictory attitudes of people living abroad towards their birthplace – a mix of attraction and repulsion as much as the feeling of loss (that is accompanied by a sense of freedom) of being alienated from their home country or territory.
The video is marked by elements of Beckettian humour – the absurd and the nonsensical. What is this girl pointing out, looking towards the sky and saying that maybe she would go there ? The viewer is plagued by the fear that something tragic is about to happen : this girl brings the revolver close to her body, then stares at the sky looking for salvation, but finally just smiles and plays with her friend.
As the title Geometría — from ancient Greek geo (earth) and metria (measure), originally the art of measuring the earth — suggests, the two girls can be seen as measuring the world via the use of gunshots as a compass. From this central point, they draw infinite lines reaching uncertain places at uncertain distances.
The work Geometría is an allegory of nets and networks, of the links between people and places.
It is a point of view, part of a larger project that echoes today’s political and social instability. It questions human relations and globalization as all places in one place, teasing out the uncontaminated area where anything could still happen.

Text by Marie Savona