Karina Aguilera Skvisky, video still from "Blowback", 2005, digital video, 4:40 minutes

Karina Aguilera Skvisky, video still from “Blowback”, 2005, digital video, 4:40 minutes

Karina Aguilera Skvisky

In Blowback (2005), appropriated b-roll news images show victims of war and natural disaster promenade through Central Park slowly appearing into the landscape, stirring forward and finally becoming larger than life. Caught in the crossfire of cameras, they are symbolic zombies in between life and death. The soundtrack, sampled and composed from classic horror movie tracks, serves to emphasize the characters truncated physical movements. The classic zombie movie explores the idea of the abject—the breakdown in meaning caused by the loss of the distinction between subject and object or self and other. The primary example for what causes such a reaction is the corpse, which traumatically reminds us of our own materiality. Blowback seeks to both explore the xenophobia that has become more direct since September 11 while also critiquing the media’s use of random images to support their stories—whatever they may be. The term “blowback”, meaning “negative fallout,” was coined by the CIA in the 1950’s as a metaphor to describe the “unintended consequences of the US government’s international activities”.

Karina Aguilera Skvisky (NYC) uses the language of popular cinema and the imagery of network news to probe the boundaries between perceived facts, fiction, and the inherent ambiguity of the pictorial. Her work has been exhibited internationally in group and solo shows at Jessica Murray Projects, Art in General, and Smack Mellon in NYC, StudioSoto in Massachusetts, Kunstahalle Exnergasse in Austria, Impakt 2004 in the Netherlands, and Le Centre pour L’image Contemporaine in Switzerland amongst others. She has participated in numerous residencies including those at Smack Mellon, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, MacDowell, the Institute of Electronic Arts, and here at CPW.