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Halito

Halito is a work by alfonso borragán.

Halito is an artistic investigation process which leads to the creation of a film on the ingestion, cultivation, rituality and material poetics of salt. Both the process and the film are framed within a broader project called Litofagos on the ingestion of stones and their inscription on the human body. Litofagos is activated through a series of collective actions and reflects on different forms of ingestion and transformation processes that affect the organisms and objects that consume them. Through collection action, the project seeks to reconstruct the boundaries between subjects and things, between biological and non-biological matter.

The film is the outcome of the work and collective process undertaken with the communities of Chijllapata, Tahua and Jaruma in the highlands of Bolivia with the co-direction of the filmmaker Alvaro Sau. The process itself is an action to transgress daily life and collectively re-imagine a place; a temporary community producing myths on its own myths, united by an artistic process without language. This community was made up of Malena Rodríguez García, Eliana Pilar Cossio Coca, Rómulo Soliz Huanca, Angélica Quizpe Mamami, Jose Flores Lopes , Wilmer Flores Copa, Nasario Copa Flores, Edgar Flores Gosales, Jairo Cortijo Gil, Vanesa González Sainz, María Soliz Chaca, Juan Huanca Quizpe, David Condory Bueno; with Reynaldo Soliz Quizpe and Dora Chaca Chungara behind the lens.

Halito was created together with the local residents in the southernmost part of the Bolivian altiplano, Salar de Uyuni or Tunupa. This salt desert is the sediment of the highest dry sea on Earth. With the inhabitants of Tunupa, we collectively created the script, characters and costumes, so they could perform the story that is Halito today. Halito tries to redefine the boundaries of the collective body, through a collective process channelled by ingestion, and aims to resignify the construction of the communal in a system of body and material relations.

Salt is the most common and active element of geophagy, unquestionably this stone is the most ingested by human beings. This mineral, is as necessary to maintain us alive, as it is to animate the world of beliefs and magic. Salt is the breath of our life on Earth. For Romans, it was a symbol of wealth and economics, hence the word 'salary', because Roman workers were paid with salt. Salt keeps the power of conservation; wherever it is, it dries out everything around it. It is one of the main preservatives that allowed for long journeys between countries and continents. Yet at the same time salt is one of the greatest banes of crops; at times of war, fields would be spread with salt so that the crops wouldn't grow, so not only their inhabitants will be exterminated but also any possibility of inhabiting that land. Salt stops the time of life, but, paradoxically, it is a stone with a human time compared to immeasurable geological time. Salt changes, grows and appears before our eyes. Salt prevents plants from growing, but it behaves in the way they do; it is a catalyst of time, the breath of our biology and belief, the nearest possibility of understanding the lithic in our body and of questioning our materiality.

Single Channel Video. Colour. Dolby digital 5.1. 48 minutes

Exhibition text

Halito was created with the local residents in the south- ernmost part of the Bolivian altiplano, Salar de Uyuni or Tunupa. This salt desert is the sediment of the highest dry sea on Earth. The video work redefines the boundaries of the collective body, through a collective process channelled by ingestion, and aims to resignify the construction of the communal within a system of body and material relations.

Alhayas is a series of pieces developed in collaboration with jewellers and metalsmiths responding to the colonial Bezoar stones made during the 16th and 17th century by the high European society. These pieces are conceived as pharmacological machines, in the form of jewels which are tools to incorporate the rock in the human body, by means of ingestion, scarification, injection, inhalation or absorption.

Rockskin are peel copies of rocks that maintain the ecosys- tem of the surface of the rock within the rubber.

Denture is a titanium teeth prosthesis that can only be acti- vated by the original mouth, and is kept latent in a support of graphite on oil.

Credits

A project by: alfonso borragán
Film directed by: alfonso borragán and Álvaro Sau Razquin

Cast: Malena Rodríguez García, Eliana Pilar Cossio Coca, Romulo Soliz Huanca, Angélica Quizpe Mamami, Jose Flores Lopes, Wilmer Flores Copa, Nasario Copa Flores, Edgar Flores Gosales, Jairo Cortijo Gil, Vanesa González Sainz, María Soliz Chaca, Juan Huanca Quizpe, David Condory Bueno.

Funded by: Botin Foundation

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