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The Vulture as a Metaphor: A Study of Corruption
August 10 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Expressiones, 84 Bank St
New London, CT 06320 United States
Alberto Palma – Artist in Residence from Tegucigalpa, Honduras Art Opening at Expressiones.
Birds of prey are unequivocally linked to carrion, especially vultures. Carrion is another way to think about corruption. Third world countries, in which the State fails to provide conditions for the survival and development of its people, are like a feast of opportunities for a specific brand of politicians and public servants, whose actions are, in fact, more reminiscent of scavengers than anything else.
Vultures are hierarchical, and their structures recognize levels of authority, much like a political party. A committee (a group of vultures on the ground or in trees) will wait for the leader of the flock to arrive to begin feeding. The leader then arrives to the setup his subordinates have created to procure the best portion of the carcass, and then allowing to feed off of whatever is left. Such a scene is perfectly in tune with any textbook case of state corruption in any third world, Latin-American country. For example, in the widely divulged Social Security corruption scandal in Honduras, “a flock” of members of the National Party created a structure to divert funds from the Social Security Institute, allocating “the better portion” of these funds into the campaign purse for the current president, Juan Orlando Hernández. Along the way, the different members of “the flock” kept, each, their morsels. In the end, the result of this wake (a group of vultures feeding) resulted in nothing but death: more than 2,000 people who were unable to receive proper medical attention due to the dilapidation of this institution perished.
“The Vulture as a Metaphor” is a study on organized criminal corruption, and the trappings of politics in which it is wrapped. It is the surreal visualization of a bird of prey calmly resting in the pomp and circumstance of a political party, polished and decorated with distinctions, while waiting to gobble up the dying institutions that stand between impoverished populations and death. It is a cruel portrayal of the scavenging of a country.