ALEJANDRO CASAZI

Red Golden Sea

The installation combines four independent artworks that represent the growing cultural banalities of death and apathy toward suffering as the result of automized killing in postindustrial conflict structures. The exhibit, furthermore, focuses on the use of combat — particularly through the use of automatic rifles — and its capacity to amplify the individual actions through mechanization. In other words, the exhibition presents a disjunction between the autonomy of the individual and the automatization of conflict. All works are based on statistical data regarding the dead and missing from the longstanding conflict in Colombia — just one example of social injustice in the Global South.

An industrialized production of matrices, the action of hand-pulled prints, and the overpowering display of multiples combine to form a statement about the industrialized automatization of death in a physical confrontation with the viewer.

PICS OF THE OPENING / MINAN GALLERY LA

Special thanks to Minan Gallery, LA and the University of California Institute for Research in the Arts.

The first interaction with the installation is the entrance. As the viewer walks into the gallery the entire floor is printed with small human silhouettes that vanish throughout the month-long exhibit as the viewer moves through the space. The number of silhouettes printed with an ephemeral pigment on the floor are a statistical representation of every individual killed during the Colombian armed conflict (since 1964- present). We quickly disconnect from understanding mass numbers of casualties by abstracting the quantities into ciphers. This abstraction leads to an inability to differentiate individuals from a vast mass. The intention behind this artwork is to review or re-experience these deaths by providing a visual interpretation of this data. The overpowering number of more than 200,000 bodies covering the gallery floor will give a different reading and understanding of the conflict’s magnitude to the gallery visitors.

Rifle, 2014 / 25½” × 40″ Graphite on Cotton Paper (120 gsm)

Rifle, 2014 / 25½” × 40″ Graphite on Cotton Paper (120 gsm)

The second series of work is a wall installation. Multiple real scale prints on paper of the automatic rifles used during the conflict, address two important aspects of the exhibit. The first and most important is the killings in the age of mechanical production; here, the actions of individuals are multiplied by machines, providing an echo in exponential numbers. The second aspect at work here addresses the aesthetics of warfare, revealing the political and economic motivations behind the conflict. The industrialized produced woodblock matrices are hand-printed in gold, reproducing the protocol of the machine-made / human-activated action.

The third part of the installation is a background triptych on paper of the 4 million “displaced” people as a result of the conflict. This red etching on paper stands as a reminder of the continuing consequences of the conflict, belligerent action is magnified through the automatic killing machines.

The fourth and final part is a stack of prints placed in the center of the gallery. The total amount of characters printed in these sheets equals the 4 million “displaced” individuals. The conception at work here is that viewers take these prints away with them, activating the subject of the print as it engages with the community, and is ultimately “displaced” from the gallery setting.

The title of the show: Red Golden Sea, is based on the symbolism of my national Colombian flag: yellow for our gold, blue for our seas, and red in honor of the blood shed in the name of our liberty. Being part of a generation that has been immersed in the Colombian armed conflict since birth, I see my national flag through a different perspective, an anachronistic vision of violence throughout history. While Golden Sea of Blood originates in the half-century old Colombian armed conflict, it transcends national boundaries, offering a window into current conflicts taking place in other parts of the world, including the Mexican cartel war or so-called “new-Colombian reality”. Furthermore, the project is linked to local policies on semi-automatic weapons and the intersections of acquisition and distribution of weapons currently dominating public debate.

Left to Right I, 2014

22″ × 30″

Polymer print, gold.

Hot Press, 300 lb
Cotton Paper

Left to Right II, 2014

22″ × 30″

Polymer print on

Hot Press, 300 lb
Cotton Paper

Desaparecidos I, 2014

22″ × 30″

Paper Etching, Mineral pigments on Hot Press, 140 lb Cotton Paper

Desaparecidos II, 2014

22″ × 30″

Paper Etching, Mineral pigments on Hot Press, 140 lb Cotton Paper

Desaparecidos III, 2014

22″ × 30″

Paper Etching, Mineral pigments on Hot Press, 140 lb Cotton Paper

Rifle, 2014

25½” × 40″

Graphite on Cotton Paper (120 gsm)

Felix con mi Tierra, 2014

8½“ x 11”

Offset Print, Matte coating  on Cardstock

Por el suelo, 2014

Floor print

Temporary pigment on concrete