"The making of Golden Warriors "
Opening Reception: Thursday, June 8, 7PM - 9PM
Artist's talk: Wednesday, June 21, 2006, 7PM
“The Making of Golden Warriors”, is the first in a series of new media works curated by Mateo Zlatar at Medianoche.
Pigeon-flying on city rooftops has long-been considered a dead art, swept away into the dustbin of New York City folklore along with stickball and casitas, victims of urban blight and gentrification but also changing tastes in games and past-times.
Following her instinct for the unusual and, at times, miraculous, in urban environments, video artist Francisca Benitez discovers pigeon-flying is alive and well in New York City, specifically Williamsburg.
Her new video installation at MediaNoche is an architectonic de-construction of pigeon-flying and dueling flocks. A kind of three-dimensional, cubistic narrative, GOLDEN WARRIORS invites the viewer to move from one stacked monitor to another, exploring various aspects of the dueling birds, while appreciating the beauty of flight over a silhouetted skyline of tenements. A looping soundtrack sampled from Elia Kazan’s film On the Waterfront consummates the experience.
According to Benitez, “The piece is about witnessing, participating, and reproducing the transformation of a power struggle into a poetic act. I am trying to bridge separate levels of reality. Through video and sound I am able to amplify and deconstruct found situations and urban phenomena.”
The pigeons are a source of pride for the pigeon keepers who send their flocks out in an open and spontaneous bid to control the sky. Dueling flocks are made to merge with the aim of disorienting the weaker flock. It is a test of each pigeon's homing instinct and training. A good keeper gets back all his birds and a few belonging to his rival.
The notion of standardization is an attempt to reduce and simplify the
greatest number of human needs to the greatest degree of equality.
It is up to us as to whether standardization opens more interesting realms
of experience than it closes. Depending on the result, we could end up
with a total degradation of human life, or the possibility of perpetually
discovering new desires. But these desires will not come about on their
own, in the oppressive frame of our world. Communal action must be taken
to detect, manifest, and realize them.
In the Worldwide city of the future’[…] for a society of
total automatation, in which the need to work is replaced by a nomadic
life of creative play, a modern return to Eden. The “homo ludens” whom
man will become once freed from labor will not have to make art, for
he can be creative in the practice of his daily life.
I want to be a bridge.
My work is the material witness of this desire.
I am more interested in art as process than art as object.
I deal with social constructs and their expression in forms of spatial organization.
How do hierarchies and power structures manifest themselves? How do
people subvert them? How do enclosures operate in terms of space, politics
and society. I want the viewer to reconsider borders, exchanges, interior/exterior,
otherness, “us” and “them”.
My work is informed by architecture and documentary. I am interested in infiltrations, mutations, nomadic flows, globalization, transplants, islands of time, taken cities and melting pots.
I use the city as a laboratory, textbook and site for speculation.
Relational aesthetics is the notion that the role of artworks is no
longer to form imaginary and utopian realties, but to actually be ways
of living and models of action within the existing real.
I see art as a space of maximum licenses within an increasingly regulated society.
©2006, Francisca Benitez
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