Transitios: Mexico City’s populous, bustling atmosphere and its relationship to the world is defined by microcosmic moments of exchange encompassing miscommunication, economy, currency, geography, and culture. Transitios is an exploration of artistic ideas traversing the city’s borders.
Transitios was curated by Leslie Moody Castro and Artpace Deputy Director Mary Heathcott.
Change Is Possible, 2005
Four printers from Plaza de Santo Domingo in downtown Mexico City were asked to transcribe a phrase in English that had been previously recorded from a movie. Since the phrase is obviously not in their native language of Spanish, it had to be transcribed phonetically, suffering variations and severe alterations in the process.
The Chair-Tree Fable by Iván Buenader
Winter in the forest had been very hard. The chair had suffered from the frost, the hot sun, and the despotic wind. Suddenly, she realized she had dried up and split. One of her legs had fallen in the road, the other was lying among some fungi, and her back had been torn off and was hanging on a tree branch. Though dried up, her right rear leg was still the strongest and was still standing though it was raised as if it was dancing.
The chair realized it was going to be very difficult to convince anyone that she was indeed a chair. She would begin using her strongest part, the nicest one, her long, winding, feminine rear leg. The chair called a young man that was passing by and asked him to help her get started. The young man carefully took her out of the ground and, moving between balance and joy, she went around collecting her other pieces. She carried them on her shoulders and arrived to a carpenter’s workshop where they helped her put herself together. She was satisfied with her proportions and figure, but she felt that she needed to tone up some parts, by waxing and applying make-up. So, she put all her parts on her shoulders again and hopped over to a little house on the mountain where she asked a man to make her look pretty. The man told her, “It’s not only a matter of making you look nice; you must be educated, you cannot be around there sprawling with your legs apart.” The chair understood and accepted on one condition: that her right hind leg remain untouched. Obeying the chair’s wish, the man helped the chair get into shape. With exercise and study he helped her improve notably. Very grateful, she decided to stay with him and to live in his house.
On a night of drunkenness, the man wanted to chop off her aforementioned right hind leg. “Don’t do it!” she shouted when she felt him grab her with the handsaw in his hand. “Why not?” the man argued. “That leg that stretches out of you is so long and horrible?” “Don’t think of it that way,” she said. “That leg is the one that allowed me to come jumping to you, it is the one that seduced the young man that helped me out of the ground when I was torn apart. That leg is the one that will always remind me that, although I feel I am a chair, deep inside I am a tree.”
Debt Generation 2/3, 2011
Credit card statements, photographs of credit cards, and receipt for frames
Framing of the 13 documents costs $4,200 pesos. In order to pay for the frames, I asked for a loan in the form of a credit card from a banking institution. The following month, I paid this debt from this credit card with a different credit card solicited from a different banking institution. The month following that I did the same with yet a different credit card. I continued to repeat the transaction six different times. At the end of the seventh month, the debt circulated back to the first and original credit card.
Within the frames are the billing statements of each card, paid with the others, photocopies of the original credit cards, and the receipt of the price of the very same frames. The debt will continue to circulate through the different banking institutions until the entire piece sells for the same amount of money that the frames cost, and the debt will be paid with this money.