Level 2 Gallery: Illuminations: caraballo-farman

(born 1971/1966. Argentina / Iran / Canada) 

caraballo-farman are two artists who have worked together since 2001. Their artworks, and practice as artists, are defined by an examination of the possibilities of collective action. In Contours of Staying, practitioners of Falun Gong are shown protesting outside the Chinese consulate in New York during a blizzard. Based on the Buddhist principles of ‘truthfulness, benevolence and forebearance’, Falun Gong is a meditative practice, which was banned by the Chinese government in 1999. Accusations of human rights abuses against its practitioners have led to ongoing vigils outside numerous Chinese consulates. In the video, the extreme weather conditions in which the protesters conduct their meditation becomes a metaphor for the relationship between the participants, Falun Gong and the Chinese state. Each person in the collective action simultaneously assumes a role of struggle and celebration, identification and differentiation. The artists state that the focus on the protesters’ ability to continue with their vigil, ‘unmoved by external forces, calm faces battered by wind and snow, hovering between resilience and folly’, slowly shifts as the video continues until ‘the struggle against nature overshadows the political struggle’.


caraballo-farman is a two-person team working in video, installation and photography since 2001. Their work focuses on public rituals and collective acts exploring the relationship between individuals and groups, unit and structure, and the ways in which one enables the other while also dissolving it. Their work has been shown around the world at galleries, museums, festivals and biennials including PS1/MOMA (NY), The Project Gallery (NY), The Whitney ISP (NY), Artists Space (NY), The Cuenca Biennial (Ecuador), Impakt (Netherlands).