The figure of the enemy in Elizam Escobar'S la ficción

Juan Carlos Rodríguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

On April 4th, 1980, Puerto Rican artist Elizam Escobar was arrested along with other members of the Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional (FALN) in Evanston, Illinois. All the members of the FALN claimed to be combatants in an anticolonial struggle against the US government and were found guilty of seditious conspiracy against the government of the United States in a series of trials in which none of them participated. Escobar's art, theory and criticism cannot be detached from the criminal proceedings brought against him, the consequences of which have also been influential in Escobar's cultural production. In this essay, I will explore the relationship of art, law and politics in Elizam Escobar's Laficcion, a painting from 1992 in which the Puerto Rican artist imagines his own funeral taking place in US Supreme Court. I will argue that the figure of the enemy in Escobar's La ficción, with its projection of the death of the juridical subject in all its undecidability, opens up the possibilityofquestioning the limits ofart, politics, and law. As it invites us to consider the death of politics in connection to the figure of the enemy, Escobar's Laficción unfolds as a spectral return of the political.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-61
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Latin American Cultural Studies
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes

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