The Freedom Fighter Manual refers to an installation work presented in a corridor built in the centre of the Sporobole showroom. Designed as an installation of silkscreens prints appearing and disappearing mysteriously in the dark, The Freedom Fighter Manual deals with power and language. This dyad is also found on the walls of the gallery, where photographs and a video pose, under false playful airs, the question of power.

The Freedom Fighter Manual is a 17-page document, printed by the CIA and air-dropped in Nicaragua in 1983 as part of a secret operation to overthrow the Sandinista government (a movement named after Augusto Sandino, a leading figure in the resistance to US military occupation). The manual contains a series of instructions on civil disobedience and revolt, inviting the population to take apparently harmless actions – destruction of books, absenteeism from work under the pretext of illness, false hotel reservations – up to more violent projects, such as the making of a Molotov cocktail or an incendiary bomb.

Exploring the ability of language to generate images, objects and situations, Juan Ortiz-Apuy considers it both as existing cultural material and an ineffable rumination as well as an event taking place in the social space. His work draws on a personal experience of geographical and cultural movements, from South to North, from the so-called Third World to the industrialized countries. This position has led him to focus on the interstices and overlaps between language, identity and violence.

Against the backdrop of a journey and journey, Ortiz-Apuy develops tools and a methodology that use the geographical map to link small and large cities, concepts and sources. He translates ideas into forms, as evidenced by the corpus of works Species of Spaces Series and A Map of the Empire of Language as a Place of Struggle, which completes the installation.

“My intention is not only to expose language, but also to play with it – to retain certain information and suggest hidden meanings, games and riddles. Thus, The Freedom Fighter Manual and the Species of Spaces series, presented at Sporobole, reflect the idea that power leads to resistance, and resistance, to new forms of power. It is partly my intention to highlight this contradiction and deadlock and thus to raise the paradoxical possibility of an adequacy between activism and inaction. “J.O.A.

Artist Juan Ortiz-Apuy will present his work to students from Bishop’s University and Champlain College on Wednesday, October 17 at 5:00 pm.
Welcome to all / Free entrance


Video and editing : Martin Guimont and  Gaétan Desmarais