Traslación. Entornos miliarios (2006) at Jorge Domínguez Dubuc

Jorge Domínguez Dubuc

Traslación. Entornos miliarios (2006)

This installation took place at Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas.

Traslación is an investigative project that is organized into a series of exhibitions that create altered, continuous spaces which have no point of return. The word ‘Traslación’ refers to the Earth’s journey around the sun, while the sub-title refers to surroundings (entornos) that are milestones (miliarios). The project seeks to create narratives through the addition of spectators’ experiences as they move through the spaces. Each of the exhibitions is conceived as a journey through a system of themes. The themes work as proposals in the quest for detonators that activate memories which enter into confrontation with each of the spaces.

Traslación: entornos miliarios is the first exhibition in this series whose system of themes was Suspension – Contemplation – Meeting the other. The theme of Suspension was represented in every wait that goes down, must come up; every comfort that goes up, must come down. Contemplation was represented by Monster of reality II and Meeting the other with …bar.

Video projection showing the museum text


Every wait that goes down, must come up; every comfort that goes up, must come down was the entrance into the installation through a lift’s doors that had to be activated by the button beside them. When the doors opened and the spectator went in, the only way to continue was toward the second door inside the lift. This invited the spectator to enter unknown territory because once inside with the doors shut, there was no way back and no button to activate the doors he/she had walked through.

The detonator in Suspension was the hammock that was hanging inside the lift, which underlined that as well as being a means of vertical trajectories, the lift was also a sort of waiting room. Here the lift worked as a motionless horizontal passage, which invited the spectator to pause during his journey. To continue, he/she had to activate the button on the second door.

every wait that goes down, must come up; every comfort that goes up, must come down

every wait that goes down, must come up; every comfort that goes up, must come down

Monster of reality II is a space designed to maintain the dimensions of the image in movement being projected onto the wall at the back of the space.

The upside down image is a looped audiovisual showing the valley of Caracas from the site where the museum is situated but from an altitude of some 2000 metres above ground level. The image shows the Avila Mountain that forms the city’s northern border, but a jungle replaces the area normally occupied by the city. In the distance a storm can be seen and heard behind the mountain. A flock of birds fly over the jungle, while the audio plays the sound of the breeze heard from a high altitude, along with the many animal species that live on the ground.

The detonator is a mirror of oil, which creates a sense of depth in the floor and gives a sense of depth to the image, which in the reflection is the right way up. Some found the smell of the oil very overbearing, while others did not notice it.

…bar is a space where the spectator is invited to interact with the installation. A bartender welcomes the spectator as if he were arriving at a new destination, offering him a glass of water from behind the bar in exchange for his words, whilst the bartender explains the diagram behind him/her which shows the titles of the component works of the installation. This conversation was designed to have a warm-up question to involve the spectator in an encounter with his memories and experiences.

The detonator is the fact that every spectator will have the opportunity to talk to the installation itself and deepen his perception of it by discovering which elements were activated in his memory or experience. In a few cases, people were able to establish their own narrative.



Interview script used in …bar

– Welcome.

– I offer you water for your words.

– Entornos miliarios is the first in a series called Traslación.

– It is made up of the following three concepts:

– Suspension, whose installation is: every wait that goes down, must come up; every comfort that goes up, must come down.

– Contemplation, which is Monster of reality II.

– Meeting the other, which is …bar.

– Knowing that there is no return, would you like to go through in a different order?

– Why?

– Regarding Suspension

– What traces of your past are there in the lift?

– What presence does the hammock have in your past?

– Regarding Contemplation

– Was there anything in the reflection for you?

– Regarding narration

– Do you have any stories to tell about this journey?

– Thank you. You may leave when you have finished your drink.

Entrance and exit of the installation.