Artist Ernesto Salmerón Explores a Truckload of Nicaraguan History | TateShots

Artist Ernesto Salmerón Explores a Truckload of Nicaraguan History | TateShots


This is the gas tank. Two batteries. The Woody Woodpecker Show. You should see it if you haven’t And La Centro America is like the
whole region Come up, I’ll help you I’m Ernesto Salmerón from Nicaragua I was trained as a filmmaker and photographer. I’m here in Tate Modern because ‘Auras of War’ is on display It’s very strange for me to switch from photography to a whole social sculpture I never thought about it. I was just obsessed I was interested in understanding my own society The whole thing started with a photograph, a black and white photograph of graffiti,
with a defaced image of Augusto Calderón Sandino. He was an icon for a new revolutionary
movement in the 1970s There’s no one way to understand Nicaraguan history There is no one way to think about Sandino Something you can agree with everybody is that we want to rule ourselves. And Sandino is
a symbol of someone who resisted A photo is just a trace. I needed something
else, something more meaningful The extraction process of the wall is a jump-cut Taking Sandino away from the context, it became this huge heavy and difficult to manage object There are writings here Here is a name: Mario The fact that it didn’t have a face, it
inspired me to go deeper into the identity of the Nicaraguan people This is not a research that I do reading books, only This is research that I need to confront It was meaningful for me to make a road trip I wanted to go deeper into who Sandino was
to the Nicaraguan people Having a direct contact with all the people
that were talking to us, and many people were curious and interested. What are you doing
with this truck? Is this still going on? What is this wall? Why are you traveling with Sandino? Just quoting this image triggers many memories for many people.
You have family, you have friends who died with this idea I decided to use the truck. It’s a caravan, like a political caravan. A testimony of conflict It came from Germany to Nicaragua as part of the solidarity process with the Sandinista revolution When I was a child this was a dream, you wanted to go inside of this truck because it was huge. It was beautiful and it was strange. This kind of toy that you want to play with but it’s a dangerous toy This was used to transport soldiers to the fire front And maybe if you came in the truck you would never come back For me this research wouldn’t be real if you don’t have both sides of the conflict. If I wanted to
explain this conflict I needed two war veterans The art project brought them together as friends.
Now they were working together. It’s like a mirror, it’s like a social mirror All my life as an artist I was making work that I never realised was art. For me it was
just research on history. Understanding my own society I am not giving the answers.
I am just asking

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