1995 | Condorito-saporio, Viña del Mar Film Festival, Chile. (trans: condor of the Andes-secret police) 1992-5
16mm film B/W and colour converted to VHS vide format, running time 12:16. 4 stills from the film.
The film was shot on a borrowed 16mm camera while living in Santiago, Chile towards the end of Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship. I hired a taxi in the centre of Santiago over 2 evenings. I asked him to drive along a route that he was familiar with in the old sector of the city. I aimed the camera through the taxi window. I began filming subjects at random as they were heading into bars in the evening. I then asked the taxi to follow a subject of my choice. At one point I filmed someone as I followed them into a small room near a bar. At other times I chose to let the subject remain at a distance. I was attempting to mimic personal surveillance in the away that the secret police were frequently seen to be doing at that time. Of course, the camera acted as follower. Yet in reality, any pretence I had at surveillance of subjects was just that. An artifice. It was as if I had imagined the whole event. My intention was to allude to the panoptic effects of the following and recording of citizens. And the resulting anxiety that could haveoccurred. When I look at the work now I realise I was interested the aesthetic qualities as well.
The last 2 images are of the sites of former torture centres as they are today.