729092 Bags of History

Suset Sánchez
September 2003

From: Sánchez, Suset. “729092 Bags of History,” Poetic justice. 8th Istanbul Biennial, Edited by Dan Cameron, Various authors, Ed. Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts, Istanbul, Turkey, 2003, (Illust.) pp. 80 – 81.

ISBN 975-7363-31-6

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729092 Bags of History

by Suset Sánchez

…I had a clear understanding of the process of a return to an original contet, of an autonomous culture co-opted and re-packaged so that its originators would consume it, disguised as imported culture.

Tania Bruguera

They weren’t even invited to share the tea, to cut those deals with oblivion-that precise, mythic hour, day after day, when orgies past, orgies of the Other, were celebrated. The worst was that the Others generated so much outrage, claiming the vestiges usurped long ago from their culture. Neither was she invited to cut the deal with oblivion in her homeland during those years when they were supposedly completely hers, not really. To top it off, she didn’t really want that arrangement. If they cut the deal, it was with memory, the one entity that might not allow her to forget her real story.

In any case, she/they were doomed to a fatal silence, the silence that comes when the voice emerging from resistance becomes a fragmented, almost undetectable echo, because nothing can be done to overturn History. All responsibility rested in spaces marked by the impossibility of change, on the precarious margins of a logic established by those in Power. One thing is certain in the postcolonial mindset: reaffirmation and self-representation only make sense when confronting difference.

Now its pristine flavor is returned to them through a misunderstanding of the Other, who adopts an image based on modern Western notions, but never quite achieves the sense of a life free of rigid taxonomies. Each bag, each measure, each flavor becomes the gaze of History itself, not dependent on space or time, but always written with the conviction that begets Power. Than gaze, in the end, will find those same images repeated everywhere, mute witnesses to History’s outrage.

It’s possible that History is the greatest void. It’s not a matter of partisan distortion, or of erroneous narratives. Theft, appropriation, manipulation, even of that which is practically ephemeral and imperceptible: these results are already taken for granted by consensus. Myth is nourished by the paradox that is History, origins blur to the starting point, to the comfort of what is reproduced, to that which exists while it is consumed.