In 2017 we had the priv­i­lege of par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Hawapi expe­di­tion to the Trián­gu­lo Ter­restre – the Ter­res­tri­al Tri­an­gle – a tiny piece of land whose own­er­ship remains unre­solved, dis­put­ed by the gov­ern­ments of Chile and Peru. The 9‑acre area inside the lim­its of the tri­an­gle is noth­ing but sand and sparse veg­e­ta­tion. It is an impen­e­tra­ble, emp­ty field, guard­ed on one side by the Peru­vian police, and one side by the Chilean police, and the oth­er by the uncom­pro­mis­ing Pacif­ic Ocean (although that stretch of water is uni­lat­er­al­ly claimed by Chile). We became obsessed with the absur­di­ty, and even the beau­ty, of rival sol­diers on con­stant duty to mutu­al­ly defend a minute ter­ri­to­ry for per­ma­nent non-human occu­pa­tion.

Our work in Tac­na, where the cul­mi­na­tion of our res­i­den­cy took place, was the result of our reflec­tion on the tri­an­gle, its para­dox­i­cal log­ic and its elu­sive pow­er. In the process, we decon­struct­ed and reassem­bled the mot­to of the coat of arms of the Peru­vian Police to pro­duce Patria Ley Dios, which then took the final form of an exer­cise per­formed in the pub­lic square, involv­ing rec­i­p­ro­cal phys­i­cal actions of pres­sure and ten­sion, as non­com­pet­i­tive nego­ti­a­tions between bod­ies in search of equi­lib­ri­um.

Here in New York for Hawapi Out of Con­text, we have gone back to our med­i­ta­tions on the tri­an­gle, now out of con­text and as an abstrac­tion. Once again, rely­ing on the col­lab­o­ra­tion of our fel­low artists, we have designed an exer­cise, El Paso, for nine bod­ies on three tri­an­gles. Each par­tic­i­pant is giv­en, at ran­dom, an indi­vid­ual set of direc­tions indi­cat­ing the pat­tern that they will fol­low indi­vid­u­al­ly as they tread care­ful­ly, togeth­er, on the con­tours of the triangles.