rerouting, video still, HD video
La Ruta de la Amistad (eng. The Route of Friendship) is a public space art project developed along 17km of Mexico City’s southern highway with 22 large scale sculptures made by 22 artists invited from all around the world.
The concrete sculptures were completed in 1968 as part of a cultural project in conjunction with the Olympic Games. In the aftermath of the student’s protests of 68 in Mexico and the student massacre around the time of the Olympics, this cultural project was veiled in silence and eventually swallowed by the expanding urban development, rendering these works almost invisible.
Building a second level to the southern highway meant that many of the sculptures were threatened with destruction until the Patronato Ruta de la Amistad didn’t start the complex process of rescuing the sculptures by relocating them and restoring the project.
multimedia exhibition project, consisting of 3 different works
1. Urban Furniture_concrete and metal objects
2. Rerouting_HD video
3. Uruguay, Chechoslovakia, Mexico, Australia, Japan, Austria, USA, Israel series of photographs, 42 x 28cm
Musa Art Gallery, Vienna
La Ruta de la Amistad, fascimile from an 1969 Olimpic Games archive, fine art print
The video work, developed together with Maya Santiago (MEX), plays with ways of reinterpreting and appropriating public space of Mexico City, facing failed utopias of modernity and threats of historical amnesia in the rapidly developing city. These issues are addressed -hands on- in the video, showing the body’s physical effort climbing the sculptures on various traffic islands in the city. The female body overcoming the obstacles of this monumental historic project is juxtaposed with footage of another ‘moving’ body, namely one of the giant concrete sculptures, being relocated.
Objects from the series Urban Furniture:
Paravan and Floor Direction - serving as spatial navigation
through the exhibition and as adisplay for the series of photos.
Exhibition views at Musa Galerie, Vienna in 2016
The sculptural installation is inspired by the guerrilla organization of the public space in Mexico City, the way public space is 'occupied', divided and organized by the street sellers through improvised structures, concrete blocks, metals structures etc.
One such object is The Paravan that navigates the view and movement through the exhibition.
Uruguay, Chechoslovakia, Mexico, Australia, Japan, Austria, USA, Israel
inkjet prints on fine art paper
42 x 28, framed, 1/3+2 AP
The series of photos showing several out of 22 large concrete sculptures in the middle of traffic jams on one of the city’s biggest and busiest highway. The sculptures were built as part of the “Route of Friendship”, a public sculpture project in Mexico City, as part of the cultural program of the Olympic Games in Mexico City.
Each sculpture is built by a sculptor from a different world country, symbolically representing the friendship with Mexico.
The photographs show the blending of the sculptures with the chaotic environment, and the urban restructuring of the city, often renderinåg them as mere urban 'obstacles', invisible giants, due to heavy traffic around them as well as new spatial constructions which have initially not have been there..
© Luiza Margan 2021