Year of Creation: 2002
Technique: Single-Channel video
Universal is an experimental documentary that explores the role of three public and private institutions in Buenos Aires that provide support for people in emotional, economical and/or psychological distress. Within the three organizations power dynamics emerge as result of pseudo-rituals, masked preaching, and choreographed devotion reveling moments of intense emotional catharsis.
1. The first organization was called Gaucho 2000, a company profiting from selling services of personal development, motivation and coaching. The target audience of Gaucho 2000 was middle/high class professionals trying to become “a better person” by purchasing a two-week intense workshop of self-improvement.
2. La iglesia Universal del Reino de Dios (The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God), is an evangelist institution with more than 4.700 temples in 172 countries and a 24-hour TV show called “Pare de Sufrir” (Stop Suffering). Low-income workers are the main contributors to this church with an annual gross income believed to be around 735 millions dollars.
3. Esas locas ganas de quitarte la vida (That crazy desire of taking your own life) was a group therapy at a public hospital for people with suicidal tendencies. The men and women who joined this group shared their stories of emotional and psychological suffering.