Dir. Allegra Hangen

Two videos without subtitles, one in English and one in Spanish. In the exhibition space, they are shown on opposite walls with two-channel audio playing on opposite sides of the room. The installation design is based on Lacan’s scopic field: “his formulation of the gaze entails that the human being's subjectivity is determined through a gaze which places the subject under observation, causing the subject to experience themselves as an object which is seen.” Allowing the center of the exhibition space to be what Lacan would consider the screen, where the two objects of observation can come together and possibly exist as a true subject.

The audio consists of translations of Allen Ginsberg’s original 1959 poem titled America. The translations come from a workshop in Puerto Rico where participants were invited to translate the poem according to how, and what, they considered to be “America”. The images are found footage from, filmed by US tourists in Mexico and Mexican tourists in the US.

Phil Lee, University of Chicago (