Organized as case testimonies, each artwork mirrors common legal practice in relation to evidence (e.g., the common legal expression ‘Exhibit A’). Considering that there is a sensitive political dimension to this project, all testimonies have anonymous signifiers identified by variables.
The works presented in this exhibition suggest how attunement to tenuous evidence and to witnesses beyond the human might take place. The approach of the camera work and the editing responds with plasticity to the sensorial quality of attunement to the emergent events and participants, human and nonhuman (for more on this see Conversation Three. Testimony X-3). The absence of evidence prompts a recurring question for me: in what sense could my artworks be considered testimonies? They are not intended to take a hierarchical position over human voices, rather, as Hamdan (2016) comments, they “seek to amplify their silence, questioning the ways in which rights [continue not to be] heard today”.
The research proposes that there is a referential dynamic between notions of body, peoples, and land about the politically disappeared, and then, if that dynamic results in testimonies, could the research present such elusive testimonies as evidence? This overarching concern involves the ambiguity of considering the artworks resulting from attunement as both registers of witnessed events as well as testimonies. It also suggests that the artworks may be material inference for evidence about whom and what has been made to disappear by oppressive geopolitics (see Conversation One. Testimony X-1). It is useful here to refer to Weizman on the inherent tension between "testimony and evidence—material and linguistic practices, subject and object—and the complex interdependencies between [state] violence and the negation of evidence (Weizman 2017, 20)."
This tension is intensified in my research by its meandering along the edges of what could be known. Many of the human witnesses to the state violence perpetrated during Leoni’s nominal democratic term (1964-1969) are no longer alive and the information on that period remains unavailable to the public in the Venezuelan archives. Through my research, I have found that an ambush military attack preceded the subsequent political disappearance of my father in a remote territory between the Andean foothills and the lowland sugarcane fields of northwest Lara State in Venezuela (see Conversation Two. Testimony X-2).