Exit Only, Installation (Tickets), 2015

Exit Only
by Fiamma Montezemolo

Through a ticket produced by the artist, Montezemolo asks what it means to enter and to exit the extrajuridical spaces of the historic site. The Guantanamo Bay Museum of Art and History selected this work specifically for its potential to comparatively reframe the prison's history with the history of the museum that now remembers it.

Artist Statement

‘Exit Only’ is the Guantanamo Bay Museum of Art and History’s exit ticket. There are of course no entry tickets to the Museum, as the entry fee involves both a high price and a cost-free admittance. At the same time no visitor is able to leave the Museum without the "Exit Only" ticket. This exit ticket is valid only once per year: on March 9th. The date marks the anniversary of the first official exit from Guantanamo, in 2004, of the Tipton Three, the three British citizens from Tipton (England) who were held for two years by the US government in extrajudicial detention. The piece meditates on the deferred temporality of a facility whose promise to be closed never arrives, except for those in possession of the ‘Exit Only’ ticket. As more visitors deliberately choose to enter in possession of this yearly ticket and with it to access and create an art critical space, the emergency measures of wartimes are gradually disabled.

Fiamma Montezemolo is both an artist (MFA, San Francisco Art Institute) and a Cultural Anthropologist (Ph.D, University Orientale of Naples). She is an established scholar in border studies and an Associate Professor in the Department of Cinema & Digital Media at the University of California, Davis. She is the author of La Mia Storia Non La Tua: La Dinamica Della Costruzione Dell’identita’ Chicana Tra Etero- e Auto-rappresentazioni (Guerini, 2004) and Senza volto: L’etnicità e il genere nel Movimento Zapatista (Liguori, 1999). She is also a co-author of Here is Tijuana (Blackdog Publishing, 2006) and co-editor of Tijuana Dreaming: Life & Art at the Global border (Duke UP, 2012). As an artist she situates her work as a critical extension of the ethnographic turn in contemporary art. She works with various media, including installation, video, performance, digital photography, archives, cartography and ethnography. Her artwork has been widely exhibited both nationally and internationally. She is represented by the Magazzino Dell’Arte Moderna gallery in Rome.