This two channel video instalation continues an exploration of the city of El Alto, Bolivia that I began with Cada edificio en la Avenida Alfonso Ugarte — Según Ruscha (2011)which documents everyday movement in the city five years after Evo Morales was elected President on the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) ticket bringing an era of dramatic social change in Bolivia. Morales’ administration brought unprecendented economic growth, a new movement of individual pride and respect to all of Bolivia’s ethnic group and did away with the homogeneity project of the previous half century. Ironically, the Morales era has also brought about a decline in women’s rights, and a rise in LGTB hate crimes and femicide in Bolivia.

Using a Cholet* as setting and a match of female lucha libre wrestlers as narrative device, this piece focuses on the psychological construction of the city and, by extension, the construction of identity and superficial image of female empowerment that the government has exported abroad. Both the extravagant location and the event perform identity as the camera faithfully registers the spectacle along with audience reactions as a loose citation to Guy Debord’s situationist film In Girum Imus Nocte et Consumimurm Igni: un film (1978) of which Debord wrote: “the theme of the film is not the spectacle, but real life.”

Parallels (2022); Two channel 4k video installation; 5:00 minute excerpt from 25:25 minutes total; color; sound.

Installation at Nube Gallery, Bolivia 2022

Installation at Nube Gallery, Bolivia 2022

Production Still. El Alto, La Paz, Bolivia, 2020

Production Still. El Alto, La Paz, Bolivia, 2020

Production Still. El Alto, La Paz, Bolivia, 2020

Production Still. El Alto, La Paz, Bolivia, 2020

Production Still. El Alto, La Paz, Bolivia, 2020

Production Still. El Alto, La Paz, Bolivia, 2020

Production Still. El Alto, La Paz, Bolivia, 2020

*The fabric of El Alto has also visually changed in the Morales era as a burgeoning bourgeoisie favors a new Andean architectural style specific to the city of El Alto that brings traditional Andean and Tiwanaku cultures into an urban setting that has served to reinvent a city previously aesthetically monochromatic. *These structures have been called “Cholets,” a term derived from the word chalet [large house] and chola [indigenous woman]). Cholets are now ubiquitous throughout the city thanks to an economic boom that Morales’ government attributes to his macroeconomic policies.