Hopes and dreams for the future is an installation by Amy Lien & Enzo Camacho in collaboration with Harry Burke. It is comprised of experimental collages, produced on site, which emerged from shared dreams of anti-capitalist and decolonial futures. Hung, facing streetwards, on Cordova’s storefront windows, the artworks are best viewed at night.
The collages contain three layers of text and image on rice paper, conjoined by rice glue. An initial layer contains watercolour and ink line reproductions of the Catalan Gothic painting Crucifixion of Saint Peter, produced circa 1400 A.D. by Pere Serra. This depicts Saint Peter crucified upside down so as not to imitate Christ. With attention paid to the relations between the subjects and objects that surround the central icon, the image has been deconstructed by the artists, who speculate upon the question of how to organize an overturned visual order. Currently on view at the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, the painting predates the unification of Spain and the modern era of European imperial aggression.
A second layer interweaves quotations taken from a comparative reading of two texts. These are Indonesian president Sukarno’s opening address to the Bandung Conference, a meeting of Asian and African states that took place in April 1955, and an interview with Fred Moten and Stefano Harney by Cristina Rivera Garza, Marta Malo, and Juan Pablo Anaya, conducted on the occasion of their recent translation of Moten and Harney’s co-authored book The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning & Black Study from English into Spanish. (A notion of deformational study, as articulated in The Undercommons, guides the production of the collages more generally.) Written, respectively, by a leader of state and by insurgent intellectuals across a gulf of sixty years, the texts reveal the shifting imperatives of living in violence’s aftermath. Although radically different horizons of hope are invoked, a commonality emerges in the insistence upon “an impossible reparation.”
A last layer features original poetry handwritten upon segments of circular sheets of paper. A hesitant, fractured voice reflects anxieties about envisioning the future, a process deeply entangled with the existence of the subject herself as a colonial project. Yet still, through collective disidentification with this (Moten and Harney: “Writing alone, by and as oneself, leads to brokenness. Writing together can generate incompleteness.”), perhaps different forms of relation can be reinitiated, and the continuity of colonialism tentatively challenged.