VOTA ASI (“Vote this Way” 2008)

In Guatemala, electoral propaganda is somewhat coarse and primitive, suggesting a relationship between nature and language that is almost pagan. Like broken altars, the emblems of political parties are scattered among outcroppings of rock, half-hidden by verdant growth, or faded by continued exposure to the elements. Their respective iconographies: a human hand –whether extended or contracted into a fist- an orange sun, a white bird, or a series of concentric circles superimpose themselves on the landscape; small blemishes on the face of nature.

This propaganda machine may be seen as a metaphor for the effects of governance on the physiognomy of the country. Nature is contaminated and intervened by a pollution of extraneous forms, submitted to a forceful corruption and then forgotten. The more beautiful the lookout point, the more imposing the tree trunk, or massive the stone, the more rapacious the attack.

Something similar happens in the urban environment, where the “landscape” of city streets, buildings and overpasses is overrun by an avalanche of posters, plastic pennants and billboards. In the city, one’s face is constantly scrutinized and beseeched by the endlessly repeated gaze of candidates.

Ironically, the entire political discourse behind the electoral process is predicated on the country’s ostensible well-being and fostering pride of citizenship.