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"The making of Golden Warriors "
A Video Installation by Francisca Benítez
Curated by Mateo Zlatar

June, 2006

Opening Reception: Thursday, June 8, 7PM - 9PM

Artist's talk: Wednesday, June 21, 2006, 7PM

“The Making of Golden Warriors”, is the first in a series of new media works curated by Mateo Zlatar at Medianoche.

Pigeon-flying on city rooftops has long-been considered a dead art, swept away into the dustbin of New York City folklore along with stickball and casitas, victims of urban blight and gentrification but also changing tastes in games and past-times.

Following her instinct for the unusual and, at times, miraculous, in urban environments, video artist Francisca Benitez discovers pigeon-flying is alive and well in New York City, specifically Williamsburg.

Her new video installation at MediaNoche is an architectonic de-construction of pigeon-flying and dueling flocks.
A kind of three-dimensional, cubistic narrative, GOLDEN WARRIORS invites the viewer to move from one stacked monitor to another, exploring various aspects of the dueling birds, while appreciating the beauty of flight over a silhouetted skyline of tenements. A looping soundtrack sampled from Elia Kazan’s film On the Waterfront consummates the experience.

According to Benitez, “The piece is about witnessing, participating, and reproducing the transformation of a power struggle into a poetic act. I am trying to bridge separate levels of reality. Through video and sound I am able to amplify and deconstruct found situations and urban phenomena.”

The pigeons are a source of pride for the pigeon keepers who send their flocks out in an open and spontaneous bid to control the sky. Dueling flocks are made to merge
with the aim of disorienting the weaker flock. It is a test of each pigeon's homing instinct and training. A good keeper gets back all his birds and a few belonging to his rival.


Artist Statement

The notion of standardization is an attempt to reduce and simplify the greatest number of human needs to the greatest degree of equality. It is up to us as to whether standardization opens more interesting realms of experience than it closes. Depending on the result, we could end up with a total degradation of human life, or the possibility of perpetually discovering new desires. But these desires will not come about on their own, in the oppressive frame of our world. Communal action must be taken to detect, manifest, and realize them.
Asger Jorn

In the Worldwide city of the future’[…] for a society of total automatation, in which the need to work is replaced by a nomadic life of creative play, a modern return to Eden. The “homo ludens” whom man will become once freed from labor will not have to make art, for he can be creative in the practice of his daily life.
Constant Nieuwenhuys

Hybrid Identities

I want to be a bridge.

My work is the material witness of this desire.

I am more interested in art as process than art as object.

I deal with social constructs and their expression in forms of spatial organization. How do hierarchies and power structures manifest themselves? How do people subvert them? How do enclosures operate in terms of space, politics and society. I want the viewer to reconsider borders, exchanges, interior/exterior, otherness, “us” and “them”.
Identity is a morphing construct.

My work is informed by architecture and documentary. I am interested in infiltrations, mutations, nomadic flows, globalization, transplants, islands of time, taken cities and melting pots.

I use the city as a laboratory, textbook and site for speculation.

Relational aesthetics is the notion that the role of artworks is no longer to form imaginary and utopian realties, but to actually be ways of living and models of action within the existing real.
My desire is not to create those ways of living but to find them.

I see art as a space of maximum licenses within an increasingly regulated society.

Francisca Benitez



golden wariors
© 2006, Francisca Benitez


:: Opening Reception Photos >>


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:: Mateo Zlatar - DESKTOP METAPHOR >>

:: Stephanie Owens - LIQUID_EDEN >>

:: Eduardo Cintron - BEWILDERED HERD >>



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