This video by Jhafis Quintero is part of a series of 10 videos, one for each year the artist spent in jail. La Hora Garrobo refers to the weight of time, to the sense of repetition and lack of future that characterizes life in jail. Jail in this case, as in all videos by Quintero, means as much our psychological, social or emotional jails as the physical, “real” jail. Quintero uses his personal experiences to confront the viewer to his own imprisonments, his own inability to communicate, his own fears: Quintero’s art is not about jail, it is about life.
La Hora Garrobo shows a man, lying on the floor, following the sunshine, trying to keep his body in this ephemeral light as it moves out of his reach. The sunshine gives us a sense of time, life, of the outside vs. the inside, a dream of freedom. But as soon as we enjoy it, it has already gone.
Similarly, when Quintero boxes himself in a ludicrous play with another self, that other self we all have inside and doesn’t have a shadow (Knock Out, 2012, to be shown at the Venice Biennial 2013), he tells us about our own difficulty to reconcile our manifold faces.
The power of Jhafis Quintero’s videos thus lies in the fundamental transformation of a personal experience into a universal one, and in the power of that conversion.
“We have these Indian genes in Latin America and we need the light of the sun to feel moving, physically and emotionally. It’s like a sign of the time. There is something sensual about the light and me trying to stay in it, lying on my back because you never give your back to anybody.
Every video of mine is like a gesture, each having its own meaning but all together they become one. They are like Haikus …”