José Alejandro Restrepo
We shall constantly be interrupted by the static of internal explosions and syncopation—the historical beep tones disruptively crackling on a line of thought.
Colombian video art pioneer, José Alejandro Restrepo investigates the behaviors and changes that are generated by clashes and crossings between humans, economy, nature, culture, religion or beleifs. epiPHONY , piece that Restrepo is inaugurating at Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros, comes from a long observation from part of the artist into some of the situations and exchanges that occur throughout Colombia related to the structures and uses of cellular technology. The implications that this object has on the subject, the landscape, spiritual life, informal economies, crime, pornography, and popular culture are revealing. The videos that compose this installation have either been recorded by Restrepo as part of his primary research or appropriated from television newscasts and other entertainment or information platforms like YouTube.
Different themes reoccur throughout the videos: religion and how divine communication is intercepted by the systems of cellular technology, natural landscapes scarred by antennas, the interaction of different people with these structures, the economy of ‘minute sellers’ in the streets of different Colombian cities, and the relationship of the cell phone with organized crime. As a culmination to this cacophonic essay, we can see through the peepholes on an old wooden door (his version of Duchamp’s Étant donnés), the cellular telephone as an extreme fetishism.