Alejandro Paz Navas talks about his workSaturday, February 9, 2019
My name is Alejandro Paz and the work I’m presenting is titled Guardaespaldas. The piece was made in Guatemala City at a moment when we young artists were starting to experiment with art from a conceptual, ephemeral perspective. It coincides with a historic moment in which society was reconfiguring itself after the recent signing of a peace treaty ending the civil war that lasted 36 years. During the new social structuring, guardaespaldas, or bodyguards, began to be used to protect the people whose safety was considered at risk, and it became quite common to live in the presence of heavily armed bodyguards in public spaces and in the city in general. As an antagonistic symbol, the beggar represents a sector of society that lacks privilege, opportunities and economic security. And both people, the bodyguard and the beggar, are people whose presence comes to be secondary, ignored, and even bothersome for many. For this reason, both become anonymous citizens whose presence constitutes a metaphor of society. In this case I hired the services of a professional bodyguard to work for one day. I indicated that his mission would be special and I highly emphasized that he should carry out his work with all possible professionalism and naturalness. And that day we explored the streets of Guatemala City contacting beggars to find out whether they would accept participating in the piece. Finally the beggar who’s seen in the video accepted without pay, and the bodyguard protected him, in a very professional way, it must be said, during an entire day of work. I visualize this piece as a dialogue between two real people whose anonymous presence generates natural actions that combine perfectly with society’s dynamic. Both characters are real, their action isn’t faked and the presence of a society that opts to ignore the action additionally reflects the natural actions of a country with much upheaval in its political and economic system.
Alejandro Paz Navas
Video (color, sound)
The Museum of Modern Art, New York...More