Reports - Mexico

Aránzazu Núñez

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Tramite: succumbing to the enchantment

Aránzazu Núñez writes about Tomo 007, the festival in Querétaro that brought together artists and agents of the country’s culture.

Tramite: Buro de Coleccionistas [Formality: Collectors Bureau] was an extraordinary provocation, a cultural space so unique that, from the maelstrom of everyday life and a baroque environment, urged us to pause and let ourselves be overwhelmed by amazement and contemporary poetics. With this objective and exploring the idea of the enchantment, Volume 007 of this festival/celebration of contemporary and emerging art took place from October 5 to 8 in the city of Queretaro. Both attendees and related groups, including curators, collectors and the general public alike, succumbed to its spell.

In a welcome—and necessary—gesture for the decentralized art scene. This initiative cast a spell whose effect will take time to fade, and establishes it as intensive training both to face the unexpected and to cultivate and treasure its possibilities.

Over four days and nights, Tramite’s program stood out for its variety in the proposals and artists included, covering more than half a hundred creators and various people from the artistic community, as well as hundreds of accomplices who made this unique polyphonic exchange possible. The choice of an emblematic house in the Historic Downtown, a former Queretaro kindergarten located on Guerrero Street 15, as the main venue of the festival, was a perfect nod to highlight its recreational-formative vocation, which at the same time contributed to its objective: to amaze!

The program for this Volume 007 was organized into five main categories: Garages, Refugios [Shelters], Pijamada [Pajama Party], Instalacion [Installation] and Espacios efimeros [Ephemeral Spaces]. Likewise, three special distinctions were also considered: Artistas invitados [Guest Artists], Proyectos invitados [Guest Projects] and Proyecto Side [Side Project], which designated a series of creative complicities and experiences specially designed for the days in which this unique celebration took place.

From the generous effort on the part of the Tramite team and the guest curators to highlight the communicating vessels between their creators, the pieces exhibited and the dialogues that sparked from them, Garages became the most revealing program category and the one that best defined the work of this festival as a space for exploration and commitment. These six spaces responded to decentralized curatorships commissioned to professionals such as Adriana Flores (Garage Queretaro), Daniela Franco (Garage Jalisco), Leonardo Ramirez (Garage Zacatecas), Yuriko Cortes (Garage Oaxaca), Marja Godoy (Garage Trampick) and Malitzin Cortes (Garage Digital [Digital Garage]), who proposed a selection of 4 to 11 emerging artists for each space according to their particular logic and obsessions, managing to frame the vitality of the explorations of young creators, ranging from the personal to the anthropological. It should be noted that, for the first time, Garage Digital was included, curated by Malitzin Cortes, with a splendid selection of work that strongly encouraged reflection on the idea of the “digital body” and the metaversal experience.


On the other hand, in the vast category of the program called Espacio efimero, we were able to enjoy more than 45 activities, which included concerts, archives, conversations, documentary screenings, performances, drawing sessions and live-sessions, from which meetings between audiences and creators in a closer and deeply dialectical way became possible. Espacio efimero included, also for the first time, the Rutas [Routes] category: a series of tours to discover a diversity of artistic projects, both in independent and institutional spaces, within the Historic Downtown of Queretaro. This gesture already speaks of a mature and consolidated project that generously extends and supports creators and the local artistic community, a territorial and format expansion that will surely become a core part of the festival in coming years.

But not all the artists in Tramite are emerging. This year, the festival also had three guest artists: Hector Zamora, Ricardo Luevanos and Julien Devaux, established creators whose work is so compelling that there is no doubt as to why they were included in the exchange. For this, two exhibitions were scheduled, one by Hector Zamora and another by Ricardo Luevanos, both extraordinary poetic provocations that did not leave us feeling indifferent. There was also a screening of three documentaries by Julien Devaux in a moving retrospective on his audiovisual recording work, which explores the richness of creative processes and the communicating vessels between cultures, media and aesthetic discourses.

The festival also included various special collaborations within its program. One of them, within the Pijamada category, refers to the co-curatorship and selection of six artists carried out by the Tramite team and Proyecto Caiman [Cayman Project] (Guadalajara), whose resulting exhibition around memory and shared geography was presented in the Municipal Gallery. Another two of the most interesting exhibitions of the festival were the result of the call made to the two guest projects: the irreverent collective Yope Project (Oaxaca) and the expanded Unidad LVTN [LVTN Unit] (Queretaro). Without leaving aside Proyecto Side, which with Un suceso irreversible [An irreversible event] by the Argentinian artist Joaquin Segui, constituted an organic reflection on identity and family memory within the Libertad Gallery.

In the Refugios category, we also found a variety of collaborations: from a residency for four artists in the Queretaro semi-desert whose result was curated by Irving Dominguez and formed the Refugio Garambullo exhibition, to the Refugio Grafica Expandida [Expanded Graphic Shelter] that carried a selection of seven graphic works to the urban space, and the Refugio Sonoro [Sound Shelter], which involved the splendid h)3ar~ deep listening session, an initiative of the T30 (San Miguel de Allende) cooperative, as well as the piece Obsolescencia Atemporal [Atemporal Obsolescence], a charming “noise machine” proposed by Javier Sanchez.

Finally, the Instalacion category, by Jose Miguel Loyola, made reference to one of our great afflictions. Using materials from the search processes and physical testimonies to appeal to memory, the piece poetically but forcefully declares “Neither forgive, nor forget,” and pays tribute to our missing men and women… Because, as the great Teresa Margolles already said years ago: “What else could we talk about?”

Thus I celebrate this extraordinary effort to educate audiences, professionalize and consolidate the industry. Because the value of Tramite not only lies in the possibility of bringing the general public and future collectors closer to different manifestations of contemporary art, it also invites us to understand and invest not only in artistic works but in our own intellectual and aesthetic enjoyment, and in the development of critical thinking that results in a responsible political position, as well as a necessary social awareness.

Congratulations on this Volume 007 of Tramite that highlighted the power of joyful exploration (intentional but without expectations or strict rules), the possibilities of an interdisciplinary approach (with all its challenges and complexities) and that, above all, highlighted the enriching and necessary nature of dialogue and creative collaboration. With a freshness that other scenes, industries and cultural spaces lack, the energy contained and generated in Tramite not only refreshed my “aesthetic palate”, showing me an enriched and fertile local art scene, but also brought into focus the work of emerging artists that, of course, a large part of the audience did not yet have on their radar, while bringing us into contact with some of the most interesting and current thematic and linguistic searches.

More importantly, the experience of these festival days reminded me of the importance, and yes, also the enchantment of delving into the periphery and technology towards the search for what the expanded poet and curator of Unidad LVTN, Horacio Warpola, would call in one of the Tramite conversations: “the radial voice”, an enriched, mature and differentiated voice, a new desire and ideal for my own work as an editor and content creator. This volume of Tramite was, surprisingly, the first one I attended, but the enchantment took effect and its spell guarantees that I will not miss any subsequent editions!


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