Eunice Adorno

Incidents of Travel & Projects 2005–2012

Casa del Lago, Mexico City, México, 27 September–4 November 2012

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Latitudes took part in La Sucursal (The Branch) short residency programme for which self-organised, self-funded or non-profit organisations are invited to temporarily transfer their offices to Casa del Lago in order to expose their cultural strategies.

During a 10-day residency (18–27 September 2012), Latitudes produced 'Incidents of Travel'. The initiative explored the chartered itinerary as a format of artistic encounter with the capacity to bypass the convention of a short studio visit through a detailed and highly specific views of the city.

Artist 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 throughout the vast metropolitan area. Documentation of these tours was later displayed in La Sucursal (27 September–4 November 2012) alongside a visual index of Latitudes' projects realised since 2005.

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 México-Pachuca to the Mexico-Cuernavaca highways. The tour focused on certain points up and down this thoroughfare, particularly those businesses that keep appearing again and again such as pawnshops, lotery stands and copy & print shops, becoming a mental journey with the artist' daily commute as its starting point.

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 off in the Hemeroteca of the UNAM, where the artist photocopied obituaries for this project, 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 inspired 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, we went downtown to visit the Biblioteca Miguel Lerdo de Tejada and the Library of Congress, and ended at El Sella "which serves the best chamorro de puerco 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 Metro La Raza, one of the longest transfers in the world, which the designers turned it into an educational experience with back-lit displays and the Túnel de las ciencia. The journey 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 part of 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. Finally the tour visited Satélite, a low-density suburban-US style development that has generated its own unique culture. Lunch was at Solo Veracruz es Bello, in Tlalnepantla.

Jerónimo Hagerman's visit delved into some situations, phenomena or cases in which he found 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 Polanco, the Espacio Escultórico of the UNAM, and a food tour around the chinampas (artificial islands) in Xochimilco. The day ended with a cocktail at Bellini, the WTC revolving restaurant which offers panoramic views of the city, and a night visit to the Mercado de Jamaica, the central flower market which opens 24/7.

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