What are you working on now and how does the piece in Conflux relate?
Right now I’m working on a few projects, but the immediate one is “Rec-elections” which are site-specific performances, which question Conservative Presidential advertising strategies, which weaponize nostalgia as a political tool of manipulation. In Conservative advertising you find a lot of references to the past, always with an eye looking back. I recently returned from the Republican National Convention in Tampa, FL where I appropriated their strategy by using historical campaign posters from past elections, such as from Romney’s father campaign when he ran in 1968. I performed in protest marches and rallies by utilizing the historical campaign posters and handing them out to fellow protesters. “Rec-elections” is similar to my project “Get Lost!” which will be part of Conflux in that they both utilize history as tool to question the present, and both open up a space to envision alternate possibilities.
What interests you in working in public space? What are some of the challenges you face making public work?
My interest in public space is that first and foremost it is “public”, something we all share, and have the ability to contribute to. Public space is more, and more becoming a contested site, and as a site of contention I find it something to question and push back against. And finally public space is a place we all have access to regardless of wealth, social status, race, religion, sex, etc. there are no social barriers which exclude an audience, I find this very appealing in making socially conscious work. As for challenges, I think the biggest challenge of working in public space is the variable of not knowing what can happen in public, you really can’t plan every aspect of a project in public space. I’ve come to embrace this variable of chance, and found that amazing things can happen that weren’t even thought of.
Any great adventures you’ve been on recently?
I was recently at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, FL. It wan an intense week spent in a legalized police state. Protests and marches were allowed, but only during sanctioned times, and places, all of which were blocks away from the actual convention where the actual target audience was. It was a marginalizing experience. Not sure if it was great, but it was definitely an adventure.
Check out more here: www.danielbejar.com @dabejar