CONTEXT From Miami to Santo Domingo (2002-03)

I

Led by the Dominican artist Charo Oquet, in October, several of her Miami colleagues and she herself engaged in a day-long dialog with the colonial city of Santo Domingo, Those who were invited to participate in this Dominican task were: Carlos

Betancourt, of Puerto Rican origin; Cesar Trasobares, of Cuban origin; Carlos de Villasante of Mexican origin and Wendy Wischer of the United States, Beyond memory and forgetting, beyond exoticism and intolerance, Context would be

what Charo previously stated in her proposal: interaction. It was more about reaching and activating spiral and root developments, beyond other people's previous experiences, routine, of different habits, of different answers to time, of calculated and

spontaneous unexpected contingencies. In a concrete place and time, the ruin or the pedestrian mall of the colonial city of Santo Domingo, and even in the domestic interiors, with suspended identities, negotiating -with whomever, the characteristics

of the street action. Both plural and open, the format that Context was defining would entangle itself with the first connection or anonymous interaction, as with the dialogs that followed, till giving sense to the found thing deliberately in movement which

could no longer wait to reach its expression or burst into a dialog, as Oscar Wilde would say, The sense of that expression simultaneously gains entre through multiple identities that are generated by everyone's everyone and each one's each one, without shades, without limit or with previous conceptual fundamentalism. This dynamic takes ownership, wherever possible, of the visible and invisible as well as the physical and emotional sense, until forming the reflection, the free state of things in

motion, that do not settle as yet another imposition in the context to signify it abruptly, but rather through interviews, and through implicated expression. It is not about trying to rob the soul of the context but rather it is about using the context as a starting

point to add maybe nothing, or perhaps everything. The artists gave themselves to the task of knowing the context, its capacities and necessities, i~s "shared reality", what we are told, what we each tell ourselves or maybe to "others", equally made oflanguage and sense, constructed, looking elsewhere. A morning, and afternoon, the necessary time to see it, to hear it, to smell it, to feel it, to touch it, to live it, allowing oneself to be invaded by it, to be seduced, to be watched, rejected, accepted, ignored

by the context, whether it be in a pedestrian walkway or in a famous ruin. This is not about a visit but about an unlimited encounter, beyond the sacred white cube, sitting on the edge between meditation and action, of expression, of lights and shad-

ows made of memory and forgetting, of destruction and construction, never of pause but of vertigo on the verge of knowledge made up of one's own and other people's, anonymous fragments,

II

Carlos Betancourt extrapolates, dislocates or transfers the memory of his grandmother, whom he establishes as a paradigm and as a frame to this ballet with death and takes her in procession and in an invitational on the pedestrian walkways of colonial Santo Domingo and gives life to her memory in the absolute light of day with the people who interact with her commemorative objects drench in blue glitter, festive, with a shine that attracts and invites. Furthermore, the artist also takes these last, final objects, inherited from his grandmother, like a second act, to the island sunset, to the serenity and the apparent rest of a famous ruin where virtue nests like a crow, and spirits await a visit and lay vigil in the quiet night.