Ixtapaluca is one of the cities of the outskirts of Mexico DF. Suddenly, an urbanization for 80.000 people living in small identical houses appeared there. The neighborhoods distinguish each other only by the color of the facades. However, life runs in the streets and people debate themselves in transforming that imposing geometric organization into a real city. They place provisional markets, build apartments on top of the roof, use the gardens, paint the houses in a different color… Though maybe this kafkanian planification will swallow them…
Architecture suggests possible worlds, ways of life. Some purely iconic architecture, are only empty scenarios, a show of light and color. The original prototype is that of ‘gringa’ periphery. Someone said it incarnates “middle class utopia”. Individual little houses with a small garden, repeated infinitely. People living there are like small Sims answering to limited inputs. In fact, in Spain, we have lived that famous implantation of the paired house that only allows imagining a single life model, formatted… But that idea of prototype can lead to unforeseen surprises when applied to reality. When architecture identifies with a form of imposed power, one should act as the architect of his own life.
In the video, the neighbors pass each other the Buzz Lightyear ‘piñata’, by turns… and the last one is a man with moustache, that has a worried face and then seems hopeful about the future… is going somewhere. Reminds the last scene of “the bicycle thief”, where father and son, after the war and with all the difficulties and no bicycle, continue because they don’t have a choice.
The ‘piñata’ is a very popular object in Central America, with a long history and its imagery has been changing.
The astronaut is a hero from the future that has almost disappeared in our imaginary. Actually, it is a cold war hero. In the movie Toy Story, there is another imposed older model as space conqueror, the cowboy; the American west pioneer. In the video, Buzz Lightyear metaphorically represents the presence of the US through its industry and placed in the context of Mexican outskirts alludes to the idea of frontier, and not only physical.
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Video and projection room
prints of 5 copies and 1 AP
With: Ismael Díaz, Maria de los Angeles Rivero, Eric Jaime Rivero, Ariana Ivonne Rivero
Executive producer: Carolina Olivares
Production assistant: Iván Volovsek
Camera: Rodrigo Avilez
Audio: Sofía Ruiz
Still photographer: Ximena Labra
Video editor and post-producer: Adolf Alcañiz
Audio post-producer: Viuda Xing Pirata
Produced by: Co-producciones (Barcelona), Maravills (Paris)
With the collaboration of: CCEMEX, CoNCA
Aknowledgments: Arts Santa Monica (Barcelona) 7 Bienal del mercosul (Porto Alegre, Brazil), Laboratorio Arte alameda (Mexico City), Jorma Saariko (PROAV)