'Incidents of Travel: Mexico City' a project by Latitudes for Casa del Lago, México City, 27 September–4 November 2012
Alongside 'Projects 2005–2012' – a visual index of the thirty projects of Latitudes realized since 2005 – Latitudes originated 'Incidents of Travel' from its temporary office in La Sucursal at Casa del Lago. Artists Minerva Cuevas, Tania Pérez Córdova, Jerónimo Hagerman, Diego Berruecos, and Terence Gower were invited to develop day-long tours for Latitudes, articulating the city and their artistic practice through routes and waypoints in the metropolitan area. Documented by photographer Eunice Adorno and mapped in La Sucursal, the project aims to explore the chartered itinerary as a format of artistic encounter with the capacity to bypass the convention of the studio visit through highly specific views of the city.

The route proposed by Minerva Cuevas focused on the concept of the public and its socio-economic associations. The tour began in the Plaza de las Tres Culturas in Tlatelolco, continued to the Tepito and Lagunilla neighbourhoods, and from there visited nearby markets and public squares in the historic centre of Mexico City. It concluded with a visit to the Torre Latinoamericana, a symbol of modernity of the city in the 1950s. Throughout the course of the journey, rural elements that constitute an integral part of the city were highlighted.

The tour proposed by Tania Pérez Córdova traced the route of a stretch of Avenida de los Insurgentes – the longest avenue of Mexico City which extends from the Mexico-Pachuca to the Mexico-Cuernavaca highways. The tour focused on certain points up and down this thoroughfare, becoming a mental journey with the daily commute of the artist as its starting point.

Jerónimo Hagerman's visit delved into some situations, phenomena or cases in which he finds a particular, intense and emotional relationship between Mexico City, its inhabitants, with the outdoors, the wilderness and the nonhuman nature. The tour visited public and private spaces of different kinds, starting with the house-studio of architect Luis Barragán, followed by a tree invaded by ivy in colonia Polanco, the Espacio Escultórico of the UNAM, and a food tour around the chinampas (artificial islands) in Xochimilco. The day ended with a drink at Bellini, the WTC revolving restaurant which offers panoramic views of the city and a night visit to the Mercado de Jamaica, a 24h flower market.

Diego Berruecos's tour encompassed several points in the city where he found the raw material for his ongoing investigation "PRI: Genealogy of a Party". The itinerary started in the Hemeroteca of the UNAM, where he photocopied obituaries relating to the 2007 sudden death Monica Pretellini, wife of the then governor of the State of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto. From there, brunch was enjoyed at El Venadito, which, according to the artist, "serves the best carnitas tacos in the city". This is a regular spot for the artist and is next to a major building in his research, which inspires one of the most interesting branches of his artistic genealogy: the series 'Architecture of Power'. This building is located in front of the home of the recently deceased Miguel de la Madrid Hurtado, 52nd president of Mexico. Finally, the visit included the Biblioteca Miguel Lerdo de Tejada and the Library of Congress, and ended at El Sella "which serves the best chamorro in the city".

Terence Gower's tour, 'Urban Models (Zacatenco to Tlalnepantla)' looked at universalist urbanism models in the northern sectors of Mexico City. The tour started at the Metro La Raza, a good example of the unique playfulness: having one of the longest transfers in the world, its designers turned it into an educational experience with back-lit displays and a 'Túnel de las ciencias'. The tour continued at the 1963 campus of the Instituto Politécnico Nacional, an expression of order and building technology that perhaps hadn't quite arrived in Mexico at the time of its construction. The tour next visited two housing complexes: Unidad Habitacional El Rosario was from the post-war building boom that produced complexes like Tlatelolco, employing the urbanistic principals of density and land-use of Le Corbusier and the Athens Charter. The second, the Unidad Habitacional de San Buenaventura, is a recent "cookie-cutter" style private development in which identical houses are built in rows that blanket the landscape. Similar to the Politécnico scheme, these recent developments are attempts at imposing order on the chaos of Mexico City. Finally the tour visits Satélite, a low-density suburban-US style development that has generated its own unique culture. Lunch took place at Solo Veracruz es Bello.

Photos: Eunice Adorno & Latitudes (specified in the photo captions)

Photos of the exhibition at Casa del Lago: www.flickr.com/photos/lttds/sets/72157631982664047/

Project info: www.lttds.org/projects/sucursal/
Blog: lttds.blogspot.com.es/2012/09/inauguracion-de-incidentes-...
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