El secreto de la tierra/ The secret of the earth (2023)

Gabriela Golder

El secreto de la tierra/ The secret of the earth
From ‘Arrancar los ojos’, 2023
Site-specific installation: territorial intervention
Dimensions variable
Produced by Sharjah Art Foundation

Ojos rotos/ Broken Eyes
Full HD video, colour and stereo sound
29 minutes
Produced by Han Nefkens Foundation, Barcelona
Courtesy of the artist

Cartas/ Letters
12-channel HD video installation, colour Duration variable
Courtesy of the artist

Conversation Piece
3-channel HD video installation, colour
19 minutes
Credits: Juana Imperiali Golder, Carmela Imperiali Golder and Beatriz Rajland (performers)
Courtesy of the artist


Gabriela Golder examines the intersection between labour and memory from a wide variety of sources— political, mythical and medical—to highlight the aftereffect of violent state actions. Arrancar los ojos (2023), which means ‘tear out the eyes’ in Spanish, is a mixed media project emanating from the mass protests across Chile in 2019 during which more than 400 victims of police brutality sustained eye injuries. Through performance, video and spatial intervention, it reflects on punitive state violence, illuminating the tendency of riot police across contexts—from South America to Hong Kong, Kashmir to Palestine—to intentionally aim for protestors’ heads.
The two-channel video installation Cartas/Letters (2018) extends the artist’s focus on the implications of state violence. In this project, children between the ages of eight and 12 read aloud letters written to loved ones by prisoners and political exiles of the last Argentine military dictatorship. Transmitting hope, affect and lessons of survival, the care and courage of these letters reverberates affectively decades later.
The audio- visual triptych Conversation Piece (2012) foregrounds the importance of transgenerational historical dialogue. Here Golder stages a critical reading of the Communist Manifesto by two young girls, played by her nieces, and their grandmother, played by her mother, a militant in the Argentine Communist Party. This spare domestic scene becomes a social mirror, with the manifesto serving as a vessel to approach themes of love, freedom, wealth distribution and oppression.