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Programmed by Elisa R. Linn & Lennart Wolff

 

Nicolás Guagnini

Clear Allegiance

2012

Video, colour, sound 

36:00 min

Camera by Jeff Preiss and Leigh Ledare

Edited by Nicolás Guagnini and Jessica Burgess

 

Courtesy the Artist, Bortolami Gallery, New York and Max Mayer Gallery, Düsseldorf    

 

The video Clear Allegiance features the artist demonstrating by himself in the streets of Harlem with a transparent flag. Guagnini starts in the poorest part of the neighborhood, near a trash processing plant, and walks up to Columbia University, an island of privilege to which he indeed belongs himself as a professor. In keeping with the entwined politics of disenchanted capitulation and sly subversion, repositioning himself as a child of the failed revolutionary promises of 1968, Guagnini waves his flag in non-heroic moments, making the context his content, contingency his ideology. Negation and retreat are not an option, but neither is utopia. Transparency, surveillance, public space, reflection and reflexivity constitute the elements of Guagnini’s critical poetics of his time and space.