Mission A

Andres Tapia-Urzua

2006, 10:00 minutes, colour

TAPECODE 1052.04

Mission A is a series of videos inspired by Diego Velasquez's painting The Crucified Christ (1636). A recreation of this painting’s main character –co-opted in the form of a suicide bomber– is juxtaposed against four screens showing spectacular sports stunts that end up in tragedy; concurrently, a man wearing a pilot suit periodically interrupts declaring: “Mission accomplished!” as an ironic reminder of an unfulfilled promise of success.

The religious nature of the suicidal menace is represented through the recreation of the Velasquez painting, while the technologically advanced character of Western civilization’s economical power (the reason behind the war-machine adopted to fight terrorism in the world) is represented by images of extreme sports and stunts (motorcycle, ski, jet and boat), used as critical symbols of progress.

Emblematic representations of the “sacrificial condition” of a “simple” terrorist as well as of the “progressiveness” of the industrialized world (with its faith in science and technology) are set in a unique, interdependent, system of value. In this multi-channel universe, a paradoxical contrast between the violent self-annihilating act vs. the “rationale” of –what has been described as– an edifying civilizing enterprise (and their military power) is exposed, inducing a poignant sense of “equilibrium” to this composition. (1)

Mission A allows us to look at the “connecting tissue” of the video frame to imagine, raise questions and propose new meanings about the relationship between these ideological forces of our civilization –a poetic meditation on the acts of looking, thinking, and comparing.

(1) In the end, the "real" causes for terrorism remain hidden behind the eyes of a suicidal automaton, while an imposing state of war is promoted through the mass media as, yet, another form of entertainment.

Mission A can be seen in the following exhibition formats:

As a single channel, each of the 4 videos could be selected and seen individually (2:50 min. each), or as a group sequence in the following order: Motorcycle, Ski, Jet & Boat (10:00 min. total).

2) As a multi channel video installation, the series should run, simultaneously, as a loop in three contiguous video screens, so these 4 videos will interact producing rhythmic relationships of image and sound.

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