An artist residency in Cartagena de Indias (Colombia) is taken as a starting point to question the role of the western artist as a cultural producer and entrepreneur in an economically deprived context. The installation consists of an experimental music video that imitates and appropriates styles of the local Champeta music culture using fences, grids, and walls in the surroundings
of the residency as video-sound-sampling-
resource. In the second part of the installation, this musical appropriation is contrasted with a video diary that explores the production conditions of the residency in Cartagena in its socio-political context: personal reflections on the artists’ experience with his white bourgeois family, with the local Afro-Colombian culture and its colonial history, as well as with the ultra-
gentrification of the local dystopian urban development projects.
How is this figure of the artist to be judged? Is he a blatant disrupter or a new Don Quixote who fights legitimately against the windmills of injustice? Is he condemned to play the role of the cultural exploiter who creates symbolic products to enhance his individual career? How can he develop counter narrations that oppose the conditions around him of which he is unavoidably part of?
Christian Diaz Orejarena (COL/GER)
lives between Berlin, Vienna, and Bogotá, where he works as interdisciplinary artist, cultural educator, and graphic designer. He creates narrative imageries that connect his subjective experience with critical research on globalized cultural phenomena.