St Paul st Gallery AUT

Exhibitions

Beatriz Santiago Muñoz: Their movements retain the light of the sun

13 April 2017 - 26 May 2017

Gallery One

Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, That which identifies them like the eye of the Cyclops (production still), 2016. Three-channel digital video, sound, colour; 10:11 minutes. Image courtesy of the artist.

“Is this the way language is supposed to work – the same reflection for everyone?” asks one of the women in Beatriz Santiago Muñoz’s film, That which identifies them like the eye of the cyclops (2016). “Is it a language only to be understood among us?” The limits of language, that there are ethical, political, and material obstacles to what is able to be seen are points returned to across Santiago Muñoz’s films. These are narratives constructed in collaboration with the protagonists. They include a group of women—political dissidents, teachers, farmers, artists—who are involved in political transformation in the artist’s homeland, Puerto Rico; and Pablo Díaz Cuadrado, who went to the mountains as part of a commune in 1968 and stayed, monitoring the growth and decomposition of everything around him, breeding bees and poultry and preparing for the future.

Beatriz Santiago Muñoz is a filmmaker based in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Her work combines observation and documentary conventions with elements of fiction, improvisation and imagined reality. She has always worked with people she knows, and over a long duration, an approach Santiago Muñoz has referred to as “an ethnography of what is possible to imagine together.” The work focuses on the relationships between communities and the land, history and infrastructure. In each of these films, Santiago Muñoz works with a process of ‘recognition’: of daily work, collectivity and autonomy, and different ways of knowing and imagining places.