Hold my Breath
© Juan Fabuel
edition 3: variable duration
Video, installation and performance are the three elements combined in this project which I started in 2013. While I lay on the ground facing the sky, I listen through my earphones to one of the most influential political speeches given by politicians and, while listening to it, I hold my breath. My heart races because of the lack of oxygen and the camera standing on my chest follows the inner rhythm of my heartbeats.
The videos last until I cannot hold my breath anymore.
The project offers a subtle approach to our current social momentum, where economy and politics (in case there is a difference) assumed the task to give us democratic freedom but, instead, what we face is a constant lack of air and possibilities. In this project I use the audio of 5 influential political figures from the twentieth century to re-create the power behind those words. Each video of the project has been fictionally filmed on the exact same location and date that the politician performed it, letting the viewer experimenting and re-assembling contradictory feelings and thoughts generated by the images and the sound.
Obviously, the project relies on a lie as well but the lie keeps the essence of the work. Every political action is a performative act, in need of a script and an audience and often, based on the illusion of a better future. The illusion of the speech matches the illusion of the video, because the open air is telling as little as these words. We are in need of references to find the place where we stand and consciously, I erase every trace of them, letting the viewer to find them laying by my side, staring at the clouds with no oxygen in our lungs.