Daniel Bejar does the work of an unmalicious vandal. He generally uses public maps like the MTA’s subway maps and Google Earth to talk about colonialism. He intervenes in spaces that people travel through to explore unresolved histories, pose critical questions, and affect social change. Projects like Get Lost restore the MTA’s subway maps, signs and place holders with the colonial and pre-colonial names of New York City’s geography. This work is very fleeting and often times removed by MTA workers within minutes of its display. In Neither Here Nor There, Bejar uses Google Earth to map the halfway point between the United States and Puerto Rico. The work is an image of the Atlantic Ocean, and so actually no place at all, symbolizing the current political status of Puerto Rico as an unincorporated territory of the United States. It also speaks to the experience of many people who have identities informed by colonial histories. In Déjà Visité he uses online auction sites to acquire vintage postcards. He travels to return the postcards to their original postmark locations into local postcard racks. The postcard is an icon of the tourist, part of the travel experience, and acts as a visual archive into the evolution of a site – the buildings, people, dress, and technology that are now obsolete. He generously recovers and returns sites of memory, identity, and history to the public domain, where the audience is encouraged to question what is familiar.
Click here to see the un-edited footage of Daniel
Get Lost! site specific intervention, archival inkjet print, offset prints, 2009-ongoing
Get Lost! Breuckelen, site specific intervention, custom decals, photographic documentation, 2009-ongoing
22 11.517 N, 73 34.328 W (Neither Here Nor There), 2011, Google Earth Intervention, digital C-print
Neither Here Nor There, 2011, screen grab of halfway point in Google Earth application
Déjà Visité (New York, NY), site specific intervention, post cards, 2009-ongoing
Déjà Visité (Los Angeles, CA), site specific intervention, post cards, 2009-ongoing