Acts of God

Pablo Vargas Lugo - Mexican Pavilion 58th Venice Biennale

Acts of God, by artist Pablo Vargas Lugo, utilizes cinematographic language to reflect on the concept of faith as a religious belief and about the ways in which our convictions are represented—if not distorted and manipulated—by political discourse and the social imaginary.

This project, curated by Magalí Arriola, establishes a dialogue with the curatorial concept of the Biennale Arte 2019, “May you live in interesting
times,” to examine how we gauge our actions and how we establish a connection between the natural world and geological time, and to question the origins of our moral choices, and our inherited values such as the idea of redemption.

In Vargas Lugo’s own words, “Acts of God is a work that becomes very relevant in a situation in which there is a greater prominence of religious belief in the public sphere, and in which religious discourse has become a privileged marker of identity to justify nationalist and sectarian positions.” The work comprises two films of different durations (approximately twenty minutes each) that, much like two gears, interlock by means of shared iconic elements that appear in different order in each film and thus produce different narrative sequences. The film was shot in Cuatrociénegas, a natural reserve in the state of Coahuila. This location highlights the wealth of Mexico’s biodiversity and our need to preserve it.