Statement October 22

I envisaged this project “October 22” for several years, carefully storing the numerous archives and files that were to serve as its raw material. This project uses the prime material of judicial activity to symbolise the fate of numerous people and events that are subjected to the tedium, apathy, carelessness, and above all, the oblivion of a judicial system.

The legal archives and records I used for this project belonged to my father, a lawyer, tragically killed on October 22nd, 2002. A case, among many, that was never fully investigated and brought to justice. Despite the project being born out of this deeply personal and tragic experience, I sought to make it a symbol of something more universal, about diverse cases, decisive to people whose life’s were put on hold, or even came to and end, waiting for the system to give a its verdict.

For over a year the files went through a process of controlled deterioration exposed to several conditions and elements. The “cultivation” and eventual decomposition of these files sought to transfigure them in such a way that they acquired new geographies and forms that, in essence, symbolised the endless wait, the deterioration, the void and abandonment. And whilst being a symbol of this, their metamorphosis gave them a new aesthetic value. This is something that has always fascinated me – the unintended beauty in a deteriorated, transfigured object, yielding to nature.

Following this, I carefully documented and classified the material and began an inverse process of interrupting the deterioration by intervening the files with different techniques.

Throughout this process I found it necessary to express this material in various formats. The folio sculptures are files strapped, or rather, strangled by the judicial “string” in a large block, the very same way the system organises cases that are left without a verdict. A video that shows a folio with a thin line of smoke coming out of it, a metaphor of the endless wait that eventually burns out. The installation symbolised the disorderly way forgotten judicial files are pilled over an old desk, burying it in such a way that it obstructs any possibility of work, of any progress. In the meantime people’s lives languish in the eternal wait.

The purpose of this project is not to recreate or recover the memory of each file and its specific contents; to the contrary, it seeks to materialize what has been forgotten, through a process of transformation and deconstruction of the very “container” of memory. In this manner it seeks to reaffirm the need to bring to our collective memory and consciousness the consequences of justice’s oblivion.

Comments are closed.