Videocity screening: “Dios te salve”

Shown in July and August 2023 at REX Box, Kino Rex (Bern, Switzerland) for the videocity cycle ‘Utopia today’.

Curatorial statement

‘A utopia is an imaginary place or state in which everything is perfect’ (Oxford Dictionary).
It is so perfect that it could exist nowhere and so thought-through that nobody would want to live there – I would add. Very much unlike our beautifully messy world, utopias are steady-state, closed societies. They are often totalitarian projects written by masterminds, not told by their inhabitants. So beware, the fine line between a utopia and a dystopia might just lie in a change of perspective: from the godly to an earthly one, from the future plan to the here and now. No need to panic and give up hopes for “better” societies though! The present can be changed, often starting with a pinch of humour. The artists I selected for this chapter play with Christian symbols, regrounding them in this world. The videos appropriate Saint Patrons and the Virgin Mary as protective, celebratory figures by creating humorously campy collages of news, portraits and glitter. These creative takeovers are symbols of resilience, hope and aspirations visibly in conflict with the often conservative and repressive belief system they belong(ed) to. The Holy Mary, the main projection screen for the patriarchal value of virginity and the stigmatisation of sexuality, will pray for all of us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.


Edlyn Castellanos
Dios te salve, María, 2019
01:02 Min., with sound

Stephanie Francis-Shanahan
The Patron Saint of Social Mobility, 2016
1:19 min, with sound

Maria Marshall
Playroom, 2016
5:00 min., with sound

Johanna Reich
Virgin’s Land, 2019
1:40 min, with sound