Commissioned by Foundation Alumnos 47, Mexico City
for the Porject "Liquid Project" at General Cano, Foundation Alumnos 47, 7th- 29th, June
I was invited to a project in Mexico city. I was asked to make a work using a house, which will be demolished in a few weeks.
For my project, I decided to invite a man who lived in the house for 46 years. The man's name is Juan Pablo. Ever since he was born, he's been living in this house. He said he loved the house. The best memories are family gathering in weekends. The worst memory is moving out of the house.
I decided to put some make up on his face, and ask him to make a drawing of his best memory in the house, WITH HIS EYES CLOSED. While he was making the drawing, I filmed him, and also recorded the sound of the drawing. Using this video footage, sound, and the entire house which was completely blacked out of any light, I created an installation where his memories and the audience's memories meets in emoitnal way in pitch darkness.
This is one picture. This is another picture. All paintings, my grandfather bought. This is another picture. Here is a really really good picture, my mother's portrait. About 25 years, nobody moved the picture, except just one time, when my mother painted the house. Or maybe two times. Here is another picture. My grandfather loved buying pictures, or paintings. This is the chimney... The chimney.. and the clock... a good clock. This clock never, never... This was good. And here, I am. Just me in front of the chimney. An hour before Christmas. I enjoyed it. It was my moment. When my father goes to the church, I started the chimney. Because I go to the church in the morning. I said to my father “father, I want to start the chimney because my grandfather comes later”. And here is the Christmas tree. It was.... not a good christmas tree. But I enjoyed it. This is the piano. And the piano chair here. I opened the door. Door of the house. And here is the key. This key was never taken out of the hole, so everyone could come in to the house anytime. Another picture, an oil painting. And here, my favorite oil painting. Really really good. Oh, here is the table... and the chairs. There are about 8 chairs. I was twelve or eleven years old. A window... Another window. And another window. And this door never never got fixed.
“The Asshole of my Soul” by Elsa-Louise Manceaux
I went to see a show performance that left me totally in shivers and crying.
I had never felt something like this or cried from art since a few years. This time was different because it was beyond finding something too beautiful.
This piece accompanied me into what i finally decided to call " the asshole of my soul"; as i could not come up with another expression that could reflect the sense of depth coming from the piece.
We basically had to get inside of very strange and special house, where I had been before; but suddenly all what I knew about it disappeared. Each person was entering every 5 minutes, immediately drowned into complete darkness. Physically therefore mentally.You could close or open your eyes, it was the same. For maybe 20 to 30 minutes (the notion of time completed faded, leaving that of space on its own — this divorce was fatal), you had, solely with the help of your right hand, to follow the wall and its corners, find the steps, go up the stairs. I started to see shadows, people, sometimes you would bump in real ones. Your mouth was covered with tape so no one could speak to each other. Ironically you couldn’t ask for help even though you were told you could. I had the sensation that the ground was fading under my very feet, or as if I was on the edge of the deepest well. Vertigo brother. About to die for 30 (?) minutes basically. This was physical, my mind was unable to rationalize the situation ( it tried). Many other people went through similar feelings, different but extremely personal as well. Everyone went though its own soul's asshole.
Finally you ended up in a room, with videos. Holy coming back to your mothers belly! Or your own brain, I don’t know. There was a video where you see the face of man, three quaters angle, on which someone had drawn three tears coming from his eyes, stating from his eyes lid, which he had closed. The face of the man was the result of the only question he had been asked: what is your happiest memory from this house?
It was indeed the man who lived in the house we were in and which had been sold to the foundation organizing the event. The house will be demolished at the end of this month. How confronting was this? Of course you start asking to yourself: what was the best memory from MY house? which house? I lived in many houses. And of course, The same question instantly brings you back to your worst memories.
There was another video, projected this time, coming suddenly like a ghost. You’ d see the hand of the man apparently drawing the map of the house, with his eyes closed. A frequency of sound was coming out a sinthetyser in the meantime. I don’t know how long i stayed, i felt relieved to be in that space, light finally. Until 10 or minutes after that i was staring at the video like a numb piece of cloth, i realized i had to go back! In the dark! This time with the help of my left hand.
Meiro, how can you do this to me?!
I finally did, like the end of a trip has to go back to reality. Oh man, silent tears in the dark… I came out trembling and kind off instantly started crying in the arms of the first person that was there, a dude from the foundation. His first question after are you ok was : do you want to talk to the camera? Oh man, so displaced, haha, funny guy. Of course I couldn’t.
Jesus, then everyone was sharing their experience, and of course everyone had just gone through their worst memories as well as their best ones; among other feelings. I never felt a piece that accompanies you so well in an experience. Everything was just perfectly and accurately well felt, from the choice of your guiding hands to the tape on your mouth until the tears drawn on the face of the guy from the video. (was he doing the job for me?)
I dont know if you can picture it, but here it is, i guess i needed to have this written, eventually passed around.
Performer: Juan Pablo
Comissioned by: Fundacion Alumnos 47
Curator: Jessica Berlanga Taylor
Project Management: Karen Ruiz
Project Assistant: Nicolas Villedary
Video Crew: Sebastian Mantelli,
Video Assistant: Hector Tapia, Gabriel Magallan, Carlos Albarran
Installation Staff: Fabian Trillo, Hugo Hidalgo
Special Thanks to: Moises Cosio, Nelly Navarrete
Big Thanks to:Carlos Amorales, Galia Eibenschutz, Homero Fernandez, Adriana Maurer
Other works for LIquid Project can be found at: proyectoliquido2012.wordpress.com