RODRIGO ARENAS-CARTER / CHRISTIAN ZIEHLMANN
This piece is the first in a series of explorations of the contemporary notion of failure, and its gravity in present society.
Social media and new technologies motivate people to share only their achievements, shaping a personal profile (“avatar”) of “a winner,” both in professional and personal areas of life. The practice of omitting the unsuccessful events of life and of highlighting the triumphs is deeply related with the notion of “being what you show.” In the social space we expose ourselves as winners, even if our personal and spiritual lives are broken and unresolved. In particular, this is an exacerbated trend in Chile, a country where nobody wants to talk about their failures.
On the walls of the hall, several documents were displayed, such as letters, reports, e-mails, rejected applications, personal rejections, and messages in which people stated that I have failed them. All of this material reported on the failures that I have had in my lifetime, in personal, professional, and economic spheres. Meanwhile, my naked, still, and silent body remained in the center of the space. At the same time, Christian Ziehlmann created a live sound intervention: a soundtrack made with vinyl records, selected from my favorite music, modified with scratches made with tapes, and processed with effects. The music selection referred to the feeling of the texts exposed on the walls and, as a kind of Ludovico Technique, the sounds change the perceptions of the words and the music.
The audience were allowed to make a complete tour of the apartment, which was absolutely empty except for the hall and a bathroom.