Leonardo Wen

Portfolio published in ArchivoZine 18 - The Archive, In the Age of Visual Culture.


ELDORADO is about the dictatorial environment set up in several Latin American countries during and after the 60s, within the context of the Cold War.

As an image source I use some ction lms whose plots take place in the countries that took part in Operation Condor. This politi- cal and military alliance (made up of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia and Chile) can be seen as a kind of "road map" to repressive methods led by the United States and almost interchangeably applied by the several associated governments. Notwithstanding the specific socio-political contexts of each of these countries, this supranational alliance resulted in urban and rural con ict situations with very similar characteristics, something which is visually reflected in the film production that narrates this historical period.

Therefore, it is my intention to reinterpret this interchangeable aspect of scenarios (visually speaking) and translate it into a new non-linear narrative, highlighting the paradox which the statical images suggest when set in motion.

That is why I use fiction films as an image source, based on the verisimilitude power which is provided by cinema as a means to build and disseminate the historical memory. I start with frames extracted from different films, without specifying their origin or indicating a specific territory. I intervene in these images with fire - a primary element with highly symbolic importance, a metaphor of the incandescence of the historical moment.

The apparent documental aspect of the selected images deliberately hides a certain game of visual representation. It is a fictional narrative about a historical period based on another fictional version (the cinematographic version), operating in 3 temporalities: 1) the one suggested by each frame's inner structure; 2) the one that takes place during the burning and fusion process of the images; and 3) the one suggested by the distorted soundtrack.

The intention is to recall our collective imaginary about this period, evoking the atmosphere of violence set up in these territories as a result of the clash between repressive apparatuses and subversive groups, even though there are no specific national territories identified.



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