inkjet print on fine art paper metal, installation view Installation detail Installation detail photograph on a window installation detail Video, HD, color, sound, loop Projection at Away exhibition, Wien Projection at Away exhibition, Wien

notwithstanding
2016

La Ruta de la Amistad (eng. The Route of Friendship) is a public space 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 sculptural project was veiled in silence and eventually swallowed by expanding urban development, rendering these works almost invisible.

Building a second level to the highway meant that many of the sculptures were threatened with destruction. Luis Javier de la Torre González, the President and Founder of the Patronato Ruta de la Amistad A.C. started the complex process of rescuing the sculptures by relocating them and restoring the project.

The exhibition presents an installation consisting of a video work and objects addressing issues about the shaping and use of public space, opening up discussion about similar projects today where local realities and global, universal values are collapsing into each other.

The video work (2015-16) by Luiza Margan was developed together with Maya Santiago (MEX) and plays with ways of reinterpreting and appropriating public space, 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 a body’s physical effort (Maya Santiago) climbing the sculptures on various traffic islands in the city. The female body overcoming the obstacles of this monumental historic project and the awkward silence around it is juxtaposed with footage of another body, that of one of the concrete sculptures, fragile and exposed in the act of relocation from its original location to a new one.

The video is presented within a sculptural installation in the exhibition space of the Musa gallery, exploring the many layers of spatial occupation and appropriation between order and chaos, agreement and struggle, history and the imagining of possible futures. This installation includes prototypes of Margans' series 'Public Furniture', a series of photographs and a site specific intervention.