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Claudia Joskowicz: Every Building on Avenida Alfonso Ugarte – After Ruscha

September 12 – December 9, 2018
Guest Curator: Ilana Shamoon
Salah J. Bachir New Media Wall, Ryerson Image Centre

This two-channel video by Bolivian-born artist Claudia Joskowicz documents a slow-motion journey along this major boulevard in El Alto, the site of violent protests during the Bolivian gas conflict of 2003. At the height of this people’s campaign, Indigenous groups and labour unions mobilized to launch countrywide protests; these historical tensions shadow Joskowicz’s steady tracking shot of the avenue (inspired, in part, by Ed Ruscha’s conceptual 1966 accordion book of photographs Every Building on the Sunset Strip). A re-enacted faceoff between protesters and armed military officers, as well as of an Indigenous parade, intermix with scenes of everyday life, challenging notions of truth, memory, and power, and exploring the lingering impacts of political upheaval.

A group of soldiers with shields standing in a street with colourful signs
Fig. 1

Production image, Every Building on Avenida Alfonso Ugarte—After Ruscha, 2011. Two-channel digital HD color video with sound, edition of 3 and 2 APs; running time: 26 minutes. Courtesy of LMAKgallery, NY. © Claudia Joskowicz

People in a street parade in bright costumes
Fig. 2

Production image, Every Building on Avenida Alfonso Ugarte—After Ruscha, 2011. Two-channel digital HD color video with sound, edition of 3 and 2 APs; running time: 26 minutes. Courtesy of LMAKgallery, NY. © Claudia Joskowicz