Personal attention unit , 2002-2003

2002/2003 – Ephemeral installation of variable sizes comprising two wooden units including desktop and chairs with integrated light , backlit photographs of maps and a machine for dispensing queuing tickets.

Personal attention unit , was a project developed in the context of the exhibition Heart of Darkness , a thematic exhibition about the famous book of Joseph Conrad which proposed, from a contemporary reading of the book, to reflect upon neo-colonialism in Africa. With the Unit I transformed the space offered to me into a space where people with personal experiences of interest related to the general subject of the exhibition could manifest them publicly and not only this but make this their work, obviously remunerated. The first step of the process consisted of the selection of four persons with a suitable profile: two men and two women, black Africans, each with an interesting experience of the journey which was coherent with the general project, able to communicate in at least two languages, etc. These persons were hired as tellers, since their task consisted of receiving the visitors of the exhibition and offering them a service: telling them, in an intimate and untransferable way, their personal experience of the journey. The second step of the process consisted of designing a space suitable for the conditions of the installation. The Unit was configured as a space for the exchange of experiences, an unmediated space where viewer and teller could establish a direct dialogue, without intermediaries. The intention was to incorporate in the exhibition the story, told by its protagonist, of what might be metaphorically termed the “journey back” from Africa, on which Kurtz or Marlow are not longer know by this names, but Lokman, Taiye, Asante or Rita in which the expression “The horror” referred to their experiences have more validity than ever.

La Virreina, Barcelona and C.A.A.M. in Las Palmas of Gran Canaria, in the context of the exhibition Heart of Darkness , curated by Jorge Luis Marzo and Marc Roig.