Performance, Music, Video, Medium-size sculptures.

Dead Druglords is a one-night event presenting a tropical mash-up DJ set, live performers, and a visual, interactive show. The presentation embraces narcoaesthetics, a language heavily influenced by the imaginary of the Latin druglord of the '80s and '90s.

A collaboration with Juan Obando (BZC).

Performance at Boots Contemporary Art Space, St. Louis.

At Boots Contemporary art, St. Louis.

Breaking off the Cessna-Piñata

Gallery after the performance.


Plane Piñata full of Colombian Candy

"Entre Rejas" Video Still

Music by CERO39

Growing up in Colombia during this time, we were exposed to the spectacular practices of the international drug trafficking cartels: from car-bombs and high-profile assassinations to extravagant lifestyles that glorified such practices through flamboyant architecture, explicit popular music, and plastic surgery. Spectacle, defined as “capital accumulated to the point that it becomes images” by Guy Debord, was experienced in Colombia as a violent aesthetic of excess and a taste for tacky neoclassicism in an underdeveloped, precarious context. Dressed in million-dollar suits, the druglords embodied an extreme contrast of social classes and a triumph of the marginal. This is what we call “narcoaesthetics.”
Today, Colombia produces and exports the vast majority of the world's cocaine. International drug trade fuels the country’s current political and economic system under the disguise of tourism and fake micro-economies, like the one of the coffee industry. The druglords are now dead. Consumed by time, their image became a portrait of an era of opulence and outlaw domination. The violence and intimidation remain, though, this time favoring a clean official national image, as the country appears ashamed and protective of its current economic reality.
With Dead Druglords, we aim to create a situation of amplified nostalgia that embodies narcoaesthetics. This piece is a phantasmagoric reminder that shouts through the use of sound, video, sculpture, and performance. The lords take the stage, turn the sound system up, and command the audience to follow them into a night of loudness, extravagance, and audiovisual narco-tropical decadence.