Alicia Framis

Welcome to Guantanamo Museum Recycling, Spain \ China, 2008-2009

6 drawings 3D 47.5 / 59.5 cm Black acrylic model 17 / 58 / 38 cm Wire mesh Model 9 / 59 / 30 cm CD player, headphones, sound Blixa Bargeld reading 322 names of prisoners

Courtesy of Barbara Gross Galerie, Munich

Many buildings and sites of former prisons, or battle posts were later transformed into museums and documentation centers. This recurring phenomenon was the starting point of Alicia Framis as she set out to develop her imaginary museum-model for the detention camp’s site at Guantánamo Bay US naval base in Cuba. Since the camp is not located on American soil, US courts of law have no jurisdiction over it and the American constitution does not apply there. Prisoners held there are defined as illegal combatants and therefore denied any rights accorded to prisoners of war by the Geneva Convention. The place reeks with inequality and political injustice. “Welcome to Guantanamo Museum – Recycling” is a futuristic museum, a figment of Framis’s imagination. The artist focuses on the buildings constructed by the Bush administration following the events of September 11 and since then are used for the incarceration, punishment, torture and interrogation of suspects under despicable conditions. In a sharp reversal, she creates a new model that is meant to serve utterly different purposes. Her work challenges the original use of the space by reflecting the historical context in which it was planned into its new function.