Location: Madrid, Spain
I have watched them disappear for years. Like so many in so many other places.
The Art of Disappearing tries to bring awareness to the languid evanescence of the Arbore tribe in Ethiopia where their last 2,300 members are currently living. Cultural disappearance is brought about by changes in the traditional way of life, from the means of transportation to the pollution of modern lifestyles and easier access for visitors. They become others, losing, first slowly and lately in an accelerated way, their identity.
This work is intended to be a glimpse at the other side of the mirror, trying to understand what it reflects and how we are interpreted by the "other" when he goes from being observed to being an observer. The perception of the reality of the other is shaped and distorted by the outer and “foreign” channels which they receive information through; guides, visitors, photographers, and tourists.
The texts are derived - it is a work in constant development - from personal conversations on repeated visits and accounts of ethnologists and visitors.
In the classic indigenous proposals, indigenous people are the subject of discussion but are almost never participants in it. Sometimes the image is decontextualized or presented in an exotic environment to highlight differences with respect to the normality of the viewer. I wanted to highlight the distances between the vision of the indigenous-object of the visitor-tourist in order to achieve a certain relationship of complicity between the two.
Objects and images are juxtaposed so that the conscious and unconscious are related, re-signifying in an articulated way the conversation between parallel and yet convergent universes. With a humorous touch, introducing the viewer to the subject matter in a lateral way, surrounding the dramatic proposals that, very often, miss the shot and do not reach the audience.