Carlos Motta, Artist

Letter to My Father (Standing by the Fence) (2005)

Single channel video


14:16 min., video, sound, color

“Letter to My Father (Standing by the Fence)” uses the fence around Ground Zero as a signifier for division and as a consequence of political mismanagement. The work speaks about the socio-emotional impact that the WTC Site has on its visitors. I asked a number of individuals to take a voice recorder to Ground Zero and speak about “what they saw”. The narrative presents the resultant “testimonies” juxtaposed with a text articulated (in first person) by a narrator that asks questions about the dangers of historicizing the present, the meaning of a memorial in a place of big economic projections, the anachronism of a tourism of spectacle and about ideas of nationalism versus a “foreign” identity, based on his experience as an immigrant in the US.