Somewhere between a documentary film, a dubbing workshop and a re-enactment, Tacones (in the making) recreates scenes from a lost film with a soundtrack that does not match. In this performance recorded in 2014, a group of the artist's friends and collaborators read out aloud a series of dialogues from a musical film produced in Colombia, intermingled with testimonies from the actors, technicians and salsa instructors that participated in the shooting. In a picturesque adaptation of West Side Story, Pascual Guerrero's film Tacones (1981) chronicled a rather unlikely confrontation between gangs of salseros and disco club-goers in the streets of Cali. The film sought to capitalise on the international boom of salsa as a trademark of Colombian identity, but ended up in commercial failure and disappeared without a trace. The critics laughed at its naive attitude and self-exoticising portrayal of racial, sexual and class conflicts in Colombia, while the audience felt alienated by hte Mexican dubbing. Deliberately anachronistic, Restrepo's remake is a ventriloqual tour de force: there is a confusion of times, voices and contradictory accounts, in which identity - to use Stuart Hall's elegant expression- reveals itself as an ever-unfinished conversation.
Text by Sabel Gavaldón, curator of the exhibition M/Other Tongue, held at Tenderpixel Gallery, January 2015, London, Uk.