Antigone, diary of rituals N.4:
At the End, the Beginning
Lara, Venezuela, 2012 - 2014
Antigone, diary of rituals N.4 : At the End, the Beginning 2014Camera, participants: Livia Daza-Paris, and Eliana González (girl) Editors: Xi Feng, Alba Daza
On my last days in Lara, Venezuela (May 28th to June 1st, 2012), I finally arrived in the area where my father Iván Daza camped in the days before the ambush.
The prominent mountain seen in the images was a natural shelter and headquarters for Brigade 21, of which he was a member. The picture with few trees on the hill shows the path he would have crossed through the mountains as he travelled on foot towards the town of Cocorote in the north. He departed on January 1, 1966. Twenty-three days later, he was disappeared.
Special thanks to Rori Knudtson, Aurora Del Río, Eliana González (girl in the video) and to the Familia González for their contribution to the creation of this work.
For more information please see:
'Un ala para mi padre, un ala para mí' (A wing for my father, a wing for me)
The mountain named 'El Diablito' is the background for this ritual. My friend and contemporary artist Aurora Del Río gave me instructions for its creation. She told me that in a dream she had seen me drawing wings on the ground around my buried legs. Following her guidance, I buried my legs using ashes that were already there on the field to draw the wings.
Below is her email communication with me in Spanish from April 26, 2012:
" 1. Haz un hueco y entierra tus piernas hasta las rodillas. 2. Riégalas con cariño acariciándolas. 3. Cuando salgas, cierra el hueco que dejaste y dibuja un ala en la tierra. Livia, esta acción me salió cuando estaba medio dormida...y te ví cumplirla además!"
At the End, the Beginning ('Al Final, el Principio')
This ritual-action took place by the foot of the mountain in the hamlet of Anzoátegui in Lara. The spontaneous and playful help given by Eliana, a girl from this valley, allowed me to accomplish the last task in my rituals: to bury myself in the place of my father.
For the creation of this ritual, I had instructions from interdisciplinary artist and friend, Rori Knudtson. I followed them as much as I could, even though I was afraid of encountering snakes and scorpions that are abundant in the area. Her instructions on April 17, 2012, were as follows:
"i think my actions may be a bit extreme but all the same the gestures are necessary, i do believe for a woman who uses her body to express and all the while lost the body of her father. you return to your motherland (or fatherland) as a gesture and action in and of itself. this brave journey alone is at moments cathartic i can imagine. please do this for me as i do this for you, as i too never recovered my father’s body. and i continually try to reclaim some physical void within my very core that lost the sensation of his hand on my back, or the safety of his arms in moments of sorrow and strife.
act one. find a place to reside and dig a hole the height of your father horizontally. wet the soil with water. document this.
act two. once the hole is complete, take off your clothes and lay in the earth, feeling the soil in cracks and crevices. cover yourself in this wet earth. fall asleep there. document this.
act three. when you awake, write down the first thoughts in your mind. and then scream as loud as you can until your voice cracks. document this."