Killing Lluís Companys

Actions can be repeated. Acts cannot. Act is an intended or unintended milestone, like the turn of the year, a revelation or a performance. It defines a shift and relates a beginning to an end. It crisscrosses continuity.

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Aspiration could not be repeated but some of its elements have gone through further reinterpretation: nudity and vulnerability, the national flag, ketchup and mustard as chromatic and pragmatic signifiers of Catalonia, Spain, and the execution by a firing squad. Quite obviously for a Catalan literate audience, the executed body is that of Lluís Companys, the only democratically elected president to be sentenced to death. His biography has been used in a variety of ways to justify a diversity of approaches to the political status of Catalonia. Taking on the kind of dystopia that framed Kristallnacht (October 2015) and those elements of Aspiration (December 2014), I urged two witnesses to mummify my body with plastic wrap (stand-up burial), then go to a luggage bag, grab all the ammunition (several bottles of ketchup and mustard) and shoot until over. Afterwards, they should wear vinyl gloves and remove the plastic wrap as a conclusion.

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Killing Lluís Companys was advertised as killlluis so that the “l” sequence would match the four red stripes on the Catalan flag and the logo of Institut Ramon Llull, the official institution of Catalan language and culture. The musician and filmmaker Jose Mas (Sonodrome, Suz-o-Suz Studio) composed a 7-minute dark ambient track thanks to which the sound of church bells and industrial noise reverberated during the rather ritualistic action. It has now become part of a wider, multitemporal act of sovereignty.

Photography: Alejandro Cano.
Soundscape: Jose Mas.
Video recording and edit: Jose Mas.

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