I am planning to push a group of 40 cameras along Avenida Insurgentes, Mexico City, on a diabolito, during this walk I will give the cameras away to people I meet in exchange for stories they can share with me about Insurgentes.
Cameras & El diabolito
During my residency at 1 mes 1 artista, I made 40 cameras from simple materials I could find, borrow or buy in the streets surrounding the gallery, this mostly involved cardboard and reading glasses.
The idea being to introduce a cinematic spectacle into the street, from one angle, but from all the other angles, the group of cameras blended in, just another bundle of objects being pushed through the streets.
From a far, I have admired the diabolito and the physical commitment so many people make to pushing and pulling objects through the city everyday.
Many of the diabolitos, have bundles of objects wrapped in plastic sheets, that to me suggest an interior space, which inturn suggest a camera, and so I thought, could these objects being moved through the street become cameras.
I am planning a walk, with these cameras, along Avenida Insurgentes. There are two reasons for choosing Insurgentes, firstly the idea that it is a straight line that traverses this immense city, a continuous flow of traffic, people, objects, events, emotions and memory. Secondly, the walk is a re-enactment of sorts, Insurgentes was my first experience in Mexico and Mexico City. My wife, Ella, and I arrived from the airport into town at 4.30 am, unable to gain access to the apartment, we had arranged to stay in, we walked up and down Insurgentes for a couple of hours, with all our luggage, waiting for a cafe or somewhere to welcome a couple of weary travellers.
I have always admired and aspired to those works that take us on a journey through the city, encouraging us to value the spectacle and spontaneity of the street; from Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘The Man of the Crowd’, to the works of Francis Alys, like, ‘Sometimes making something, leads to nothing’, to music videos, like Massive Attack’s ‘Unfinished Sympathy’. The street has always provided both inspiration and a space to suggest things, for me it has always been a place of give and take.
During the walk I will give cameras to people I meet, in exchange for stories of events that have happened on Insurgentes, collecting other peoples memories to enrich my understanding of this street. In a simultaneous process of dispersal and gathering, one collection will be replaced by another.