6 Pack from Mexico City

by Estela Revino

Six artists from Mexico City converge through proximity in age and ideals to present a cohesive view of Mexico's current society. Philosophically, they propose independent ways of approaching ideas, concepts, and aesthetics to represent the endless political, historical and social unrest where modern societies unfold. The result is a critique of the reason of existence of any being in any society. In 6-Pack: from Mexico City, the artists erase the clear lines between photographer and artist and the documentation of fiction and reality. Their social critique of Mexico and its memory rise to the forefront in their work, resulting in fugitive images of their environment that are internationally important.

Dante Busquets' project Sateluco: from 10 to 20 concentrates on Mexico City's middle and upper middle class. The importance of this project relies on documenting a small social sector while, at the same time, acknowledging the artist and his class within the existent diversity of Mexico City. He visually and subjectively emphasizes the relationships he has with those who share an affectionate connection with him, while breaking away from and searching for himself in others. Documenting Satelite is as important as documenting any other city in Mexico or abroad, since it scrutinizes a certain social sector, unfolding it to its final consequence.

In Artifice, Benjamin Alcantara is interested in the power that mass media communications have on the construction of our identity. His images are playful and sarcastically staged portraits of people who embody those stereotypes, resulting in a fictional portrayal of reality based on absurd social ideals.

In the project In Passing ("DePaso") Victor Mendiola provides an intimate view of Mexican subcultures, revealing the marginal semblance of a society. By becoming a participant in his characters' lives, Mendiola shares the groups' everyday experiences of surprise and expectancy without falling into the superficial, cliche illustrations so recurrent and common in this genre. Omar Gamez offers us two possibilities of the limits of desire and sexuality in Mexico's gay culture: "The Dark Book" is a dark, anonymous and impartial possibility, where the importance of the experience is the relief of a sexual pulsation. "Natura", the other possibility, is a ritual of integration with the natural, a celebration of a sexual preference and a conscious decision to part with the current culturally imposed morality.

In The Death of Narcissus, Adrian Aguirre uses multiple architectural images from different vantage points in Mexico City and surrounding areas to create a fictitious puzzle of the urban world. The construction of cities is a crystallization of an idea of stability that originally was the reflection of the celestial order. Mexico City struggles with the chaos of its present habitat, often serving as an antithesis to the idea of the modern city which provides protection to its citizens. Aguirre offers a spiritual order for the city environment that brings us close to the idea of utopia: the perfect place humans aspire to exist within throughout history.

Finally, in Equally, Enrique Greenwell engages in an introspective discourse on authorship and photographic authenticity. As a witness to the flow of daily life in Mexico, Greenwell appropriates public space to confront the omnipresent dilemmas of alienation and the search for identity. His scenes include objects, landscapes and representations of characters absorbed in destiny. The characters seek a sense of place within an evolving city, suggesting the paradox of predator and prey that are equally fused in their identities.

6-Pack is a collective of 6 photographers based in Mexico City. The traveling exhibition '6-Pack: from Mexico City' was organized by HCP (exhibited Feb. 22 - Apr. 16, 2007) and will be on view at Blue Star Contemporary Art Center during fotoseptiembre from Sept. 6 - Oct. 22, 2007. This exhibition was made possible with support from Haynes and Boone, the Consulate of Mexico in Houston, Texas, Texas Commission on the Arts, and FONCA.

Seis artistas de la Ciudad de Mexico convergen por la cercania de edades e ideales para presentar una vision coherente de la sociedad Mexicana actual. Filosoficamente, nos proporcionan maneras independientes de abordar ideas, conceptos, y esteticas que representan la interminable problematica politica, historica y social donde se desenvuelven las sociedades modernas. El resultado es una critica a la razon de existencia del propio ser de cualquier sociedad. En 6-Pack: de la Ciudad de Mexico los artistas borran la linea clara entre fotografo y artista y el documento de la ficcion y de la realidad. La critica social de Mexico y su memoria emerge a la vanguardia de su trabajo, dando como resultado imagenes de su entorno de relevancia internacional.

En el proyecto Sateluco: de los 10 a los 20 Dante Busquets se concentra en la clase media y media-alta de la ciudad de Mexico. La importancia de este proyecto radica en la documentacion de un pequeno sector social, reconociendose el mismo y la clase a la que pertenece dentro de la diversidad que existe en la ciudad de Mexico. Su intencion es enfatizar de manera visual y subjetiva su relacion con quienes mantiene un lazo afectivo, salir de si mismo y buscarse entre otros. Documentar Satelite es tan importante como documentar cualquier otra ciudad dentro y fuera de Mexico, ya que escudrina un cierto sector social, desdoblandolo hasta sus ultimas consecuencias.

En Artificio Benjamin Alcantara se interesa en el poder que tienen los medios de comunicacion masiva en la construccion de la identidad, sus imagenes son escenificaciones ludicas y sarcasticas de personajes que encarnan esos estereotipos, dando por resultado una ficcion de una realidad documentada de la construccion de ideales sociales absurdos.

En el proyecto De Paso, Victor Mendiola proporciona una mirada intima de las sub-culturas Mexicanas, revelandonos el semblante marginal de una sociedad. Al ser participe en la vida de sus personajes, Mendiola comparte las experiencias diarias de sorpresa y expectacion sin caer en la ilustracion cliche y superficial tan recurrente en este genero.

Omar Gamez nos ofrece dos ventanas hacia los limites del deseo y la sexualidad en la cultura gay de Mexico: The Dark Book, una posibilidad oscura, imparcial y anonima, donde lo importante de la experiencia esta en el desahogo de una pulsion sexual. Natura, la otra posibilidad, es un ritual de integracion con lo natural, la celebracion de una preferencia sexual y el consciente despejo de una moral socialmente impuesta.

En La Muerte de Narciso Adrian Aguirre utiliza imagenes arquitectonicas de diferentes puntos de la Ciudad de Mexico y sus alrededores para crear un rompecabezas ficticio del entorno urbano. La construccion de las ciudades es la cristalizacion de la idea de estabilidad que, originalmente seria el reflejo de un orden celestial. La Ciudad de Mexico pugna contra el caos de su habitat actual, convirtiendose en la antitesis de la idea de la ciudad moderna que ofrece proteccion y limite a sus ciudadanos. Aguirre le ofrece un orden espiritual al entorno citadino que nos aproxima a la idea de utopia: el lugar perfecto en el que aspira a existir la humanidad a traves de su historia.

Por ultimo en Igualmente, Enrique Greenwell se involucra en un discurso introspectivo de autoria y autenticidad fotografica. Como testigo del devenir cotidiano en Mexico, Greenwell se apropia del espacio publico para confrontar el omnipresente dilema del extravio y la busqueda de la identidad. Sus escenas incluyen objetos, paisajes y representaciones de personajes absortos en el destino. Los personajes procuran el sentido de ubicacion dentro de una ciudad en evolucion, sugiriendo la paradoja de la presa y el cazador que igualmente fusionan su identidad.

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