MapFund

About the Grant

$20,000 (MAP 2005) and $18,000 (MAP 2006) to support The Fifth Commandment, a traveling performance & installation work by Elia Arce about the personal ethics and spiritual beliefs of the U.S. military, compiled from a series of interviews with individuals from the military community in the Bay Area, San Antonio and Houston.

About the Project

Elia Arce’s The Fifth Commandment is a traveling performance & installation work about the personal ethics and spiritual beliefs of the U.S. military. Arce uses film/video, theater and installation to explore complex social and political themes. For The Fifth Commandment, Arce has conducted a series of interviews with individuals from the military community in the Bay Area, San Antonio and Houston.

Recurrent themes of defense, fear, patriotism, compassion, revenge, sacrifice, and survival have surfaced in these conversations. Central to her exploration are questions such as, when is it acceptable to kill, and how do people justify their actions? How would human consciousness need to evolve in order for war to cease? Of particular interest to her, is the disparity between personal actions, personal spiritual and moral beliefs.

The research for The Fifth Commandment has spanned two years, from the initial interviews with soldiers near her home in Joshua Tree to the interviews in the commissioning cities. With help from Costa Rican visual artist Ronald Villar, Arce will create an installation inspired by the traveling small town fairs in Latin America and the US. The installation will incorporate local veterans in the community and better allow audience members to understand the humanity of the soldiers of all sides. Taking recurring themes from the interviews, Ms. Arce and her collaborators will develop 12 stations to create the setting for her culminating performance.

Related Websites

Elia Arce

Diverseworks

Elia Arce
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