Federico Solmi

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The Liberator
Collection of the artist, courtesy of Luis De Jesus Los Angeles, and Ronald Feldman Gallery, New York City

Against a drumroll, a figure on a horse descends through a tunnel-like space that is flanked by American flags. The first notes of “Hail to the Chief” become recognizable, and the Liberator emerges. As the song goes on, this character from the American Revolution rides along on a horse amidst falling confetti, flying balloons, and identically dressed cheering figures. Their enthusiasm is so contagious that the Liberator joins in the clapping. Eventually, the flags disappear, the music fades, and he seems to walk from the darkness into our space.

Federico Solmi creates satirical video installations in which motion capture and computer script determine the movements of the puppets that inhabit them. Solmi uses these characters to comment on celebratory views of history that insist on heroicizing leaders rather than probing their legacies.