River Rail Puerto Rico Issue
River Rail

Black Beach/Horse/Camp/The Dead/Forces

A 2016 film by Beatriz Santiago Muñoz addresses the contamination of Vieques.

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Black Beach/Horse/Camp/The Dead/Forces was all shot in Vieques, Puerto Rico—an island that was used as a bombing range by the US Navy in Puerto Rico for 60 years, and that for the past 10 has been fighting for its decontamination.

The film weaves together images of a man who cares for horses that roam the old target range; a black magnetite beach that is slowly eroding; an artist who has helped to resurrect a sacred tree which was once within the Navy’s gates and who has herself resurrected from illness more than once, a man who hopes his ritual movements return the island of Vieques to a cosmic balance—all of these are intertwined—land, toxic bomb, political work, celebration, and death.

Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, <em>Black Beach/<wbr>Horse/<wbr>Camp/<wbr>The Dead/<wbr>Forces</em>, 2016. 16mm, black and white, silent, 8 minutes. Courtesy the artist.
Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, Black Beach/Horse/Camp/The Dead/Forces, 2016. 16mm, black and white, silent, 8 minutes. Courtesy the artist.


Beatriz Santiago Muñoz

Beatriz Santiago Muñoz is an artist whose expanded moving-image work is entangled with Boalian theater, experimental ethnography, and feminist thought. She tends to work with non-actors, and incorporate improvisation into her process. Her recent work is on the sensorial unconscious of anti-colonial movements, and on everyday poetic work in the Caribbean. Recent solo exhibitions include: Gosila at Der Tank, Basel; Rodarán Cabezas at Espacio Odeón, Bogotá; That which identifies them, like the eye of the cyclops at Western Front; A Universe of Fragile Mirrors at the Pérez Art Museum Miami; and Song, Strategy, Sign at the New Museum. Recent group exhibitions include: Whitney Biennial 2017, New York; Prospect.4, New Orleans; 8th Contour Biennale, Mechelen; and Ce qui ne sert pas s’oublie, CAPC-Bordeaux. She has received the Herb Alpert Arts Award, was a 2016 USA Ford Fellow and received a 2015 Creative Capital Award for a film-in-progress titled “Verano de Mujeres.”


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