Antigone, diary of rituals N.3:
Crosses and White Fabric
Lara, Venezuela 2012-2014
These works are a series of physical poems as rituals. They are also metaphorical gestures that transform personal mourning into a public and collective activity.
Diary entry—Sunday May 20, 2012
Crosses and White Fabric was a spontaneous participatory art action and poetic intervention with the campesinos* from the area. We began going up the mountain at 7:00 am, early enough to avoid the flies that come out at the heat of noon. We tried to find the site where Iván Daza, my father, and a man nicknamed Paramaconi were attacked by the Venezuelan army and disappeared. While there, I was informed that this event took place on January 23, 1966. However, the certainty of this information is unclear.
We went there to intervene in this history of state violence by creating 'gestures of care' for the politically disappeared. I brought a bolt of white fabric, 100 meters long, to mark the site. Unbeknownst to me, the campesinos brought two hand-forged metal crosses as a remembrance and honour for the dead.
In truth, I had only expected three men to come along with me to the mountain, instead, eleven men, three boys and a driver from the town of Cocorote in a big old truck showed up. As we climbed up, they opened a path with their machetes so that we could approach the ambush site. We only came near it. They said that they have seen evidence of gunfire marked on the stones and trees by the mountain range. No one has tried to go up to this place since the 1960s. I asked the campesinos, "Why have you come up here with me?" One of them replied: "Because…we are looking for revolutionaries!"
*In Latin America, the term campesino usually refers to peoples of Indigenous and African origin that live on parcels of land, often working for a landlord.
Images of participatory action and poetic intervention near Cocorote, Lara, Venezuela, 2012Photos: Livia Daza-Paris and Oscar Torres (campesino from Cocorote)
Livia Daza-Paris, At the edge of the (far-) End: an event revealed through rituals. ELSE Journal for International Art and Creative Media Issue 01. Published by Transart. Guest editor Teobaldo Lagos Preller. Peer-reviewed article. Published: January 2016. Text in English: https://en.calameo.com/read/003167138eee8c6d8ee56
Review by Latin American independent art critic Albeley Rodriguez. Texto en español: La creación: un dolor trocado en vida vibrante
Review by Latin American independent art critic Constanza Rogatis. Texto en español: https://www.artnexus.com/Notice_View.aspx?DocumentID=29887
Main page on project: Antigone, diary of rituals
This work was created with the support of the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, Fundación Museos Nacionales-Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas, Alcaldía de Morán, Venezuela, Ministerio del Poder Popular para la Cultura de Venezuela, the Canada Council for the Arts and the campesinos of Cocorote.