Bedtime Story | Cuento antes de Dormir
Caracas, Venezuela 2011- 2014
Bedtime Story I 2011—Experimental and biographical video filmed, edited and directed by Livia Daza-Paris.
In December 2010, I witnessed the felling of a few hundred-year-old ceiba trees right in front of the house where I was staying in Caracas. I felt that the violent act of cutting down, chopping and discarding of trees without regard, was as a powerful metaphor to represent my internal pondering as I began the investigation on my father's disappearance, Iván Daza, in the 1960s. Spontaneously, I made an audiovisual record of that act. From it, created a video collage including primary sources and historical records. The video was projected onto the walls of a room made of translucent fabric, creating an immersive installation. This alluded to a childhood memory of the first time my mother spoke to me about the ambush and disappearance —in the way of a bedtime story. This work was part of my exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Caracas, Venezuela, 2014, curated by Albeley Rodríguez. Special thanks to Luisa Villalba in Caracas, Venezuela. For related work see: Silent Sky
Bedtime Story II 2011
I asked my mother: when is my dad coming back? She began to tell me about the conflict in some imagined land between good and evil, and that my father was part of that struggle for justice, a good struggle. Then, she paused for a moment, and quieter, hesitantly, she told me: up in the mountains, by the woods, there was an ambush, and someone said that your father was killed...that they left his body far from here, somewhere. I wondered, is his body at the end of the world? The 'end of the world' for sure is far! As she told me this story, the lights were off. I could not see her face nor her eyes. Only the street lights shimmering through my bedroom's window. Did I hear her cry? Time to sleep now, mother said. And so, I found myself drifting into the night towards the place at the very far end of the world.
I was four years old in Caracas, Venezuela, 1969. My father was never returned to us. There was no funeral, tears could not be shed.