1991 / Homage to Sebastian Acevedo

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Location: The School of Journalism at the University of Concepción, Concepción, Chile.

Date: December 1, 1991.

Event: World HIV-AIDS Day

Other People/Associations: Christian Rodriguez, Miguel Parra

Institution: Centro de Educación y Prevención en Salud Social y Sida (CEPSS)

Description: On Demember 1, 1991, an international day for taking action against AIDS, the Yeguas del Apocalipsis performed Homage to Sebastián Acevedo in a space managed by the School of Journalism’s Student Center at the University of Concepción. Pedro Lemebel and Francisco Casas had been invited by Christian Rodriguez, director of the Public Health Center for Education and Prevention of AIDS (CEPSS), as part of a series of activities concerning HIV-AIDS. In this piece, Lemebel and Casas used materials mined and extracted from the region: lime and charcoal. They covered the floor of the room with lime and, in the background, arranged five monitors to transmit video. Their bodies naked and covered in quicklime (calcium oxide), they lay down, forming a line reminiscent of Chile’s geography, the ends signaled with the letter “N” (North) on one of the screens (a dollar bill was also stuck to it) and the letter “S” (South) drawn on a bag of charcoal. A recording of Lemebel and Casas reciting their national identification numbers and the names of cities in Chile was played over a set of speakers. Miguel Parra, then a student in the School of Art at the University of Concepción, collaborated by drawing in charcoal a line that went across the bodies, which was then lit on fire. This installation alluded to both HIV-AIDS and also commemorated the figure of Sebastián Acevedo, the mine worker who set himself on fire on November 11, 1983, before the Catedral de Santísima Concepción (Cathedral of Most Holy Conception), as an act of protest against the disappearance of his children, who were detained by the apparatus of the military regime.