Osvaldo Budet Meléndez Plus

Berlin, Germany

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Osvaldo Budet (b. 1979, Puerto Rico) currently living and working in Berlin, fellow of the Hanse-Wissenschaft kolleg.

Growing up in a colony (Puerto Rico) a “Third World” country has made me conscious and curious of the relationships between figures of authority and the powerless. I see my art-practice as an analogy of the political relationships between municipal groups and the public. My role as art maker is both a colonizing force (perhaps, simply the colonizing of canvas) and a neutral-less viewer of the political theater.

Coupled with my fascination of political conflict, I have an insatiable obsession with documentary films. In the past, I’ve produced films. But it is the desire to create and inhabit the “truthful” storytelling that I’m most compelled by. The past influences us but we do not influence the past. My work breaks this paradigm to create an alternate present. With this I make images of the past of an ideal future, using documentary cinema as the anchor to reality. I catch myself: painting self-portraits in the depiction of documentary fantasies with abundant silver, poetically suggesting the material of projected celluloid.

I’m also taken with the clichés and poetics of subtitling. The visual translation of language in subtitles is fascinating to me for its beauty and potential humor. As English and are my second languages, I find it poignant to have my paintings address the audience, or me the viewer, through the foreign-film subtitle.

These worlds of politics and poetics, of fiction and truth, are tightly intertwined… my work looks at this complication.

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