Bedtime Story | Un cuento antes de dormir

Caracas, Venezuela 2011-2014

Bedtime Story 2011HD video, sound 05:06Caracas, Venezuela

Bedtime StoryExperimental and biographical video filmed, edited and directed by Livia Daza-Paris. In December 2010, I witnessed the cutting of a few hundred-year-old ceiba trees right in front of the house where I was staying in Caracas. I felt that the violent act of taking down, chopping and discarding of the trees done without regard, was a powerful metaphor to represent my internal pondering as I began the investigation on my father's disappearance.
Spontaneously, I documented through video the events occurring at that moment. Later, I decided to edit this document and include primary sources and historical records. The work is finally presented as an installation with the video images projected onto the walls of a room made out of translucent fabric, alluding to the actual room where, in the form of a bedtime story, my mother tried to tell me why my father was not there with us.

Bedtime Story 2014

Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas, Venezuela, 2014. Immersive installation with fabric-room sculpture and single-channel video and sound. Dimensions variable.
This work was part of my exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Caracas, Venezuela in 2014, curated by Albeley Rodríguez. Special thanks to Luisa Villalba in Caracas.
Short Story Un Cuento Antes de DormirLivia Daza-Paris

I asked my mother,

'when is my dad coming back?' She began to tell me about the conflict in some imagined land between good and evil, and that my father was part of that struggle for justice, a good struggle. For a moment she paused, and then quieter, hesitantly, she told me, 'up in the mountains, by the woods, there was an ambush, and someone said that your father was killed... his body was left far from here, somewhere...' I wondered, is his body as far as the far-end of the world? That for sure is very far!

When she told me this story, it was already dark out and the lights were off. I could not see her face, nor her eyes. Only the street lights shimmering through my bedroom's window. Did I hear her cry? 'Time to sleep now, mother said'. And so, I found myself drifting into the night towards that place I imagined to be at the very far-end of the world.

I was almost five years old. My father was never returned to us. There was no funeral, and all the tears, not to be shed.