Enrique Ramírez presents “Un hombre que camina” (“A man who walks”). A film installation made in the Salar de Uyuni, located at 4200 meters above sea level in Bolivia. The show is in rooms one and two of the MAVI between July 7 and August 26, 2018.
This work originates in 2009 when Pascale Pronnier, curator of the National Study of Contemporary Art Le Fresnoy, and Philipphe Massardier, director of the Center of Production and Diffusion of Visual Arts Lab, invited Ramírez to carry out a project for Béthune, the Regional Capital of Culture in 2011. While considering this project, the 2010 earthquake in Chile occurred and since then, Ramírez, who lives and works between Chile and France, has not been able to stop thinking about the idea of travel and death.
In the film, a dancer from the Region of Antofagasta is personified as the ‘devil of the altiplano’. He has participated in various popular ceremonies and throughout his life he has travelled the ‘pampas’, leaving his mark on the desert and vast landscape. This character of the ‘devil of the altiplano’ (the ‘northern devil’) was born at the time of the Spanish Conquest and represents evil Christians – later becoming a satire of the ‘conquistador’. In turn, the ‘Diablada’, represents the rebelliousness of the mining ‘mitayo’, who, disguised as a devil, shows rage against his oppressors and his desire for freedom and struggle.
Filming conditions in the Salar de Uyuni were tough, but as Ramírez explains; “I wanted to make a trip without a horizon, where water and sky were equal, a trip full of nothing, an authentic journey, respecting the stories of the highlands, of the Chilean-Bolivian north, full of signs and imaginaries, many ridiculous, for others real, evident, authentic, unique.” In this work, Ramírez combines video, photography, installations and poetic narrations. He documents stories within stories – overlapping countries and times, the mirage between dream and reality. “This project is dedicated to all those who walk with imagination, who travel without moving, those who dream and move their eyes through each image, to those who are among us, many times invisible, walking by our side.”