10 years in jail
10 years in jail, 6 video program, 2010-2014
Courtesy of the exhibitor:
About the work: Jhafis Quintero (born in 1973, Panama) has represented Panama at the Venice Biennial in 2013 and his work is shown for the first time at Moving Image Art Fair in New York by Analix Forever.
Jhafis Quintero has previously spent ten years in jail (hence the title of his show), and became an artist while in prison. For him, creativity has been "essential to survive in jail", according to his own words, and "art and crime are twins in subversion". Quintero however in no way is trying to awake our (com)passion for the victim he doesn’t want to be. "Jail", in the works by Quintero, means as much our psychological, social or emotional jails as any physical, "real" jail. Through a series of ten haiku-like videos, each of them based on a very specific sensorial experience, Quintero confronts us to our own imprisonments, inability to communicate and fears, to our own anxieties, to our own body. Of these ten videos (one for each year spent in jail), six will be shown at Analix Forever.
The power of Jhafis Quinteros’ videos lies in the fundamental transformation of a personal experience in a universal one, the exact type of conversion that makes the artist tell us "the mystical truth". Jhafis Quintero’s art is not as much about jail than it is about our human condition.
In the video "No I" (the second of this series), two contiguous entities try to recognize each other: one male and one female. They run a failed dialogue in different languages; Spanish and Dutch; they speak but do not communicate. They remain invisible to each other, unreachable, untouchable – while remaining side by side, caught in a relentless repetition: "Tu eres mi, quien soy yo (You are me, who am I)": an exhausting exercise.