For the 200th anniversary of the Mexican War of Independence in 2010 – the ‘Bicentenario’, Jens Kull proposes Revolution. The 2’30“ video clip shows a 360 degrees revolution of the Morelos statue located in front of the main entrance of the national library in Mexico City. The video is composed of more than 100 stills put into sequence. The movie catches up speed and slows down again. For the viewer, this looks as if Morelos was turning around and around.
José Maria Morélos was one of the key figures of the 1810-1815 Mexican War of Independence. In his several campaigns against the Spanish, he won a number of strategically important battles and succeeded on October 22nd 1813 in having the „Decreto Constitucional para la Libertad de la América Mexicana“ (Constitutional Decree for the Liberty of Mexican America) signed. The decree was quite the opposite of what Morelos had hoped for, and thus he continued his battle for independence, not as successfully though. Shortly thereafter he was captured, brought to Ecatepec in chains and executed. Morelos is considered one of the greatest heroes in Mexican history.
However, time and again, Morelos‘ achievements have been revisited and reflected critically. The opinion as to Morelos‘ person is ambivalent, and so are the results which constitute Mexican reality today, 200 years after his campaign. A large portion of Mexicans do not agree with the Bicentenario: There is nothing to celebrate, ‘no hay nada que festejar’, is their claim. This ambivalence, of the historic events and of today’s Mexican reality is a constitutional part of Revolution, on different levels.
Jens Kull proposes a new and revisited revolution. It is Morelos, looking down from high on what has resulted from his achievements, revolving around himself, faster and faster and then slowing down again. At the same time, the viewer is revolving around the statue and invited to look at Mexican history from all angles and not only from the one angle that Mexican history books like to account for.
Revolution does not take a stand and it does not propose an opinion or a viewpoint of this Mexican history. But it exemplifies that history, like everything else, is a matter of tradition and not necessarily of truth. There are always different viewpoints, to everything in our world. Jens Kull, in this piece, invites us to step down from our plinth and look at the world, and thus, at history, from a different point of view. Every viewer’s personal revolution, one could say.