143.353 (los ojos no quieren estar siempre cerrados) (143.353 [Eyes Don’t Always Want to Be Closed])

Marcelo Expósito

Puertollano, Spain, 1966
  • Series: 
    Entre sueños (Between Dreams)
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    117 min.
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Marcelo Expósito is an artist and activist who stands out for his editorial video-graphic works on the visual imaginaries of Francoism and his explorations into social movements. In the film 143.353 (los ojos no quieren estar siempre cerrados) [143.353. Eyes Don’t Always Want to Be Closed], Expósito focuses on two pictorial works: Santiago batallando con los moros (Saint James Fighting the Moors, 1690), from the Museo de Bellas Artes in Córdoba, and another anonymous painting from the eighteenth century with the effigy of Philip V as Saint James the Moor-slayer, from the Museo Nacional de Arte in La Paz, Bolivia. The location of these works on either side of the Atlantic allows Expósito to explore how certain representations of power circulate and are brought up to date over time and space, particularly in the context of celebrating bicentennials of independence in Latin America.
The work employs tools from the Spanish movement of recovering historical memory, applying the “Antigone model”, which entails disobeying unwritten and written laws related to silence about genocide during Francoism. Thus, Expósito sets forth a critical reading of these images and examines the historical myth of Saint James as a “genocide model” which became the Indigenous-slayer of the colonised Americas. The project tackles the complex relationships between images and politics, using semantic displacements to connect concepts and images, such as Francoist and colonial genocide or cultural and political restorations.

Cristina Cámara Bello