The reactivation of the railway system in Mexico through NAFTA policies, opened an informal channel for thousands of migrants from the North Triangle of Central America fleeing from an environment of violence and extreme poverty, to move northward to reach the border with the United States. The train network known as "La Bestia" became the means by which nearly half a million migrants who entered Mexico each year could travel through the country anonymously and directly, thus constituting a sort of vertical border that is distributed throughout the country.
Walk the Line: The Distributed Vertical Border explores how the movement and pauses of migrants affect the physical and imaginary environment of the territory they navigate, generating dynamics commonly associated with those of regions adjacent to official borders. Focusing on the seven cities that initiate the distributed vertical border throughout Mexico, the exhibition spatializes trade, labor, screening, protection, violence and obstruction through a coordinates system that traces the architectural objects that constitute the route through this line, while also identifying the agreements, protocols and actors that shape it. The route presents the histories of these populations that are usually represented by numeralia and statistics, using instead elements that reflect the character of the built environment and the experience of moving through this unexplored territory where architecture finds its place.
The publication that accompanies the exhibition is divided into a navigation guide and a book that includes critical essays commissioned from researchers specializing in circulatory regimes and their spatial transformations. Guest researchers include Justinien Tribillon, editor-in-chief of the Migrant Journal; Nathan Friedman, co-founder of the District Department and Pedro Ceñal Murga, assistant curator of Archivo Arquitectura y Diseño, with an introduction by Tania Tovar, director of Proyector.
The publication takes the form of a navigation guide along the "Distributed Vertical Border". Using graphic, photographic and documentary resources, the guide recreates this complex context not through data or statistics, but from an architectural point of view regarding this context formed by social, political, economic and spatial forces, and how to navigate between them.
The lecture series is part of the public program of Proyector. It invites artists and researchers to present and talk about their work in the context of the exhibition in turn. For the Walk the Line program, we have invited researchers specialized in circulatory regimes and their spatial transformations, who participate with essays in the publication, as well as the artist commissioned for the in-situ installation of this cycle, to extend the discussion on the distributed vertical border.
D(e)RAMA BESTIAL - RODOLFO DÍAZ CERVANTES
Traces the economic relationship between migrants and the territory, making visible the route of their commodification using the exchange currencies used on the route. Placed by Central American migrants, the installation seeks to relate the economic trail that the beast leaves and moves with its artifices, vindicating human labor and its ontological relationship with displacement.
The arrival of immigrants is, for many, a simple addition operation. It automatically increases the number of inhabitants and increases the total income of the native population that absorbs them. This surplus of capital and human, is expressed directly in the context in which they are inserted, altering it unfailingly through their incorporation to the capital of the territory that receives them.
In models such as that of the distributed vertical border, these transformations operate mainly through language, its interpretations and the assimilation of the particular values of change and use in that hidden territory, administered by the variable time of the transit only perceptible in the pause; in the attention to the deformed faces and the altered territories that they present to the becoming as an extended transaction of goods and bodies that crosses the country, returning to the money the only interpreter and whose effect is to make the communications more direct. The only recognizable faces in this homogeneous regime are the effigies of the bills and coins that temporarily occupy the identities of their bearers, regardless of their origin.
RODOLFO DÍAZ CERVANTES
Is an architect and artist working in different media such as sculpture, drawing and photography. He directed Damian Ortega's production workshop, and is currently the director of Taller TORNEL. Rodolfo's work addresses a concern for the process and meaning of materials as well as a formal rigor resulting from the influence of architecture.
03 NOVEMBER, 2018 | 18:30hrs
IGNACIO G. GALÁN - AFTER BELONGING
ARCHITECTURES OF BELONGING
The lecture was focused on transit architectures and diaspora urbanisms, considering the evidence of transnational networks and the local tensions resulting from them. Considering the work developed by the After Belonging Agency for the Oslo Architecture Triennale 2016 among others, the conference analyzed the characteristic modes of residence of a moment defined by the growing circulation of capitals, goods, images, and people and discussed strategies developed to intervene on them.
17 NOVIEMBER, 2018 | 17:30hrs
CUANDO LOS IMPERIOS SE DERRUMBAN
Responding to Proyector’s call of Walk the Line, this lecture addressed the time, horizontal and vertical limits inherited from colonialism that structure the urban spaces of Paris and London today. As their empires collapsed, the colonial capitals of Paris and London developed new narratives of modernism, efficiency and sobriety. Relying on an immigrant workforce from their former colonies, these new imaginaries of high living and consumable futures failed to deliver on their promises and soon went from being an object of desire to an object of hate. Coalescing with deep-seated issues of racism and social crisis, these utopian 'cités' (in France) and 'states' (in the UK) have come to embody the difficult relationship between migration, post-colonialism and architecture.
8 DECEMBER, 2018 | 13:00hrs
MARBLE, IRON, GRANITE, CHROME
277 obelisk monuments mark the US–Mexico boundary line. Constructed in three distinct phases (1849–1856, 1891–1912, and 1964–1968), these monuments were the product of territorial negotiations, disputes that were settled ranging from the violent expansion of sovereign limits to the shifting course of a historic boundary river. Commissioned, inscribed, and placed by both the United States and Mexico, they served as unique bilateral artifacts that operated across and reflected on separate territories, forms of settlement, and philosophies of nationhood. “Marble, Granite, Iron, Chrome”, the upcoming lecture by Nathan Friedman at Proyector, presents the international boundary through a history of its material artifacts and the modes of representation they have motivated.
CURADORES | Tania Tovar Torres y Pedro Ceñal Murga
PROYECTO DE INVESTIGACIÓN | Pedro Ceñal Murga
INVESTIGACIÓN CURATORIAL Juan Carlos Espinosa Cuock
DISEÑO GRÁFICO | Andrea Carrillo Iglesias
MAQUETAS | María Sevilla Gómez
FOTOGRAFÍAS EN EXPOSICIÓN | Pablo Fregoso Díaz y Pedro Ceñal Murga
INSTALACIÓN ARTÍSTICA | Rodolfo Díaz Cervantes
FOTOGRAFÍA | Sergio López
EDITORES | Tania Tovar Torres y Juan Carlos Espinosa Cuock
CONTRIBUCIONES | Tania Tovar Torres, Nathan Friedman, Justinien Tribillon y Pedro Ceñal Murga
DISEÑO GRÁFICO | Andrea Carrillo Iglesias
IMPRESIÓN| Offset Santiago
TIPOGRAFÍAS | Lydian BT, Lyon Display, Grotesque MT.
“Agradecemos al Fondo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes a través del Programa de Fomento a Proyectos y Coinversiones Culturales el apoyo proporcionado para la realización de este proyector”
Este es un proyecto patrocinado por Fundación Jumex A.C.