Marginalia - Mexico

Paloma Contreras Lomas

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#58: The Mexican Beyond

Every month Marginalia invites an artist, curator or project to provide a series of images that will serve as the background of Terremoto, in relation to their practice and current interests. At the end of each month, the whole series of images is unveiled. Here is the selection of March of 2020.

As a child, I always wanted to be a ghostbuster. To date, what excites me most is when someone tells me horror stories. As I grew up, my perception of fear has changed: from the witches who left their feet in the slopes of the mountains and the black widows who sometimes appeared in the room I grew up in Guadalajara, to the Más Allá Mexicano [The Mexican Beyond.]

The Más allá [The Beyond] in Mexico can represent the warning of knowing yourself dead. The Mexican upside down has the power to suck us in, as a kind of portal that serves as a fantasy for what has long ceased to be El Padre Estado Piedra.

A man appeared to us on the road. Then I understood that, in that region, that those who appeared on the road were completely normal. They can appear with different objectives, this one had proselytizing ends. He did not like The Activist and he was in favor of creating the plant, he was going to give them jobs, he also supported the setting up of a Walmart—it meant progress and the arrival of products that were not in the region. The landscape did not matter, let whoever who wanted to be born on that landscape be born there. The man was wearing a PRD shirt and kneading something in his hand, that man reminded me of the dogs that followed us on the Mazunte road. I was terrified of those dogs that followed us for miles—I wish, now, I was only afraid of dogs. Those dogs announced that one of us was not going to live long after adolescence. Juan smelled of death many years ago and those dogs knew it. The appeared man that was kneading something, reminded me of that trip when Juan was a body and not guts on the South American asphalt.

In that childhood room, where I spent a lot of time alone, I used to write criminal cases to solve withs secret agendas and missions; now I think of artistic production in the same way, solving crimes as a production method. 

This series of images refers to two things, the first to a group of characters that I am currently producing, which are different landscape costumes: “El Monte [The Hill]”, “El Más Allá Mexicano [The Mexican Beyond]”, “La Niebla [The Mist]”, among other animated characters from a witness endowed with a non-anthropomorphic gaze. The second is a series of pop images, which I feel close to as being the first landscape reference I had: that of television.

The aforementioned characters are part of a landscape science fiction-thriller novel—with laminated furniture included—written from my middle class, vulgar imagery.

— Paloma Contreras Lomas



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