viaje al infinito sueño solitario


(From Where You Can’t See The Horizon & Sight Collides With The Mountain)


Artspace, Sydney

Installation with oil, acrylic, flashe, linen, wool, cotton, ribbon, grommets, rope and archival material
Dimensions variable
No items found.
No items found.

Pushing the rock up the hill: One of the ways in which I experience and understand my Venezuelan identity is through the connection I hold with members of my family. Despite the physical distance, it is through conversations, dialogues, anecdotes and the sharing of content related to our particular experiences that I have come to build an understanding of my Venezolanidad, since actually “being” in Venezuela. I find it difficult to summarise the extreme devastation which has occurred in my home country over the past 20 years. I guess finding maneras (ways) to maintain this conversation is a form of resistance; one particularly invested in the methodical iteration of infinite dialogues or lived experiences. Ongoing action becomes an incessant meditation, a pursuit purposeful until some form of change takes place (outer or inner) … In this instance, I’m exploring what it means to make work that is collaborative by incorporating my family members as a way of telling their stories. This has led to a process of translating words into visuals, visuals into poetry, poetry into resistance and resistance into energy transmitted and shared. Equally difficult to express is why some of the phrases that I’ve captured in passing conversations with my mother and my grandparents hold so much significance. An easy answer would be to dwell on their sentimentality, but I assure you there’s something more - a form of wisdom, passed down generationally, worthy of circulation. Somehow these slithers of text, haphazard in their meaning, appear to hold larger truths. In various conversations spanning the past few months I have collected and combined the following fragments:  

(Soy) de donde no se ve el horizonte
(I am) from where you can’t see the horizon)
y la vista choca contra la montaña
(and sight collides with the mountain)
deberían decirle a alguien que vaya y use esa gasolina…
(They should tell someone to go and use that gasoline…)
igual eso se evapora
(either way it will evaporate)
(Entre todo, hay cosas que no se van asaber)
(Amongst everything, there are things that will not be known)
(Dirigido al) Bravo Pueblo
(Addressed to) The Brave People
Por quénunca nos hicimos la pregunta?
(Why didn’t we ever ask ourselves the question?)
Le hechaste anís?
(did you add anise?)
Por qué?
Es clavitos
(It’s cloves CLOVES CLOVES)
más nada
(That’s all)
5y se le rompe la cabecita para que salga más sabor, yo choco dos cabecitas y zumbotodo
(5 and you break their little heads to release more flavour, I break two little heads and add it all…)
Cuandovengas...quiero que preparemos un asado negro
(When you return…I want us to prepare an asado negro (dark beef roast))
(elhomenaje continúa)
(the tribute continues)

References: Asado Negro (dark beef roast), a traditional Venezuelan dish, one which my great-grandmother was very well known for.

El Bravo Pueblo: The Brave People, in reference to Glory to the brave people, which is the Venezuelan national anthem, in reference to gaining freedom and independence from the Spanish crown - a freedom short lived.  

Otro cuento (another story):

My grandfather was born in La Guaira, Caracas. My grandmother in a town called Chivacoa, or as my grandfather described over a FaceTime call. “the place where many roads meet”. Currently in Chivacoa, like most parts of Venezuela, basic utilities are lacking. No water, gas, electricity, gasoline or any of the luxuries are provided. COVID-19 is also present alongside many other plagues. People protest and no one hears them, there is repression and over the weekend my great aunt could smell teargas inside her house. This is the place where many roads meet. In contrast to my home town, Mérida, “where you can’t see the horizon and sight collides with the mountains”, as my grandfather said…yet again. He might feel absolved from such claims since he’s not from Mérida and I think this assessment holds some negative connotations of perhaps narrow mindedness due to being enclosed by mountains. I was never haunted by these implications. Instead, I felt we were so high, the air so fresh, that if we continued to climb and push we would be able to see the horizon and all it encompasses.


Contributors: Ana, Ruben, Delia and Mia Hernández
Photography by Document Photography