Pedro Lemebel (1952-2015) is one of Latin America’s most famous contemporary artists and writers. During the rule of the Chilean dictator Pinochet in the 1980s, he became famous for his controversial texts and performances on subjects such as homosexuality and human rights. Fire and his own body and blood were the crucial and often shocking elements in own work—for one performance, the artist rolled down the burning steps of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Santiago, wrapped in a bag.
Lemebel’s sharp tongue and extravagant makeup, costumes and accessories made him a striking figure in a conservative society where being overtly homosexual was extremely dangerous. It’s clear from their intimate conversations just before his death that Lemebel and filmmaker Joanna Reposi Garibaldi were good friends. She lets her protagonist’s work and ideas be the guide, resulting in a film with a creative, freely associative narrative built from archive material, texts and interviews. A fitting tribute to a fascinating artist.