Angkar

fictional archive // paintings, drawings, posters, sketches, letters, objects, videos and super 8-film rolls // work in progress

“Angkar” is an alternative story based on Peru’s recent history and the question: what would have happened if the ultra-Maoist guerrilla Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso) had taken power and actually ruled Peru? To answer this question I decided to work with a format that aims to produce stability in the interpretation of the past through the organisation of its fragments: the archive. An archive, in this respect, must be understood as a collection of historical records (documents, letters, sound recordings, visual material, etc.) that, as a whole, attempts to remember the function of human organisation in a particular period of time in order to represent it. But, like memory, the interpretation of the archive is always influenced by the temporal distance that separates the historical events from our present. In order to fill that ‘temporal gap’ the archive reconstructs the past through coherent narratives looking for a historical value.

In my research I looked for, found and used real documents – like photographs, drawings, graphic works and video material of the Peruvian internal war in the 1980s and the first half of the 1990s and juxtaposed them with archive material of the Cambodian “Angkar” (the Pol-Pot-Regime 1975-1979). This archive material was collected on the basis of my investigation at historical archives and my own memories during the internal war in Peru (as I experienced it in my childhood). For my alternative story I transformed some of the historical archive material to create several art pieces that document the alternative story. Presenting myself as a member of a group of researchers and collectors called “The Organization”, I made an extensive archive of the art pieces made by an anonymous artist living in the People’s Republic of Peru, which was the name of the Andean country during the regime of the ultra-Maoist group “Sendero Luminoso” between 1990 and 1994.

The archive shows paintings, drawings, posters, sketches, objects, videos made by the anonymous artist and organized in card indexes by their possible date of origin and their date of entry in the catalogue of “The Organization.” In order to place the material within the historical time line of the Angkar regime, each card index shows an artwork accompanied by a legend text explaining the work through the possible intention and role played by the anonymous artist at that time. With this arrangement I wanted to stress both: a separation between the artist and the collective events and a historical narration by indexing single art works.

.