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Vast Regions of Domain, 2011

Title after Michel de Certeau

Digital drawings made in Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign, and printed on vinyl

Series of 20 large scrim banners: surgical diagrams from the fifties and theoretical texts on language in three languages

48”x36” each

Exhibition: Museo de arte moderno, Chiloé Island, Patagonia, Chile

Interactive element: each of the 20 printed vinyl designs have also been printed on small sheets of papers, like flyers; people  can take a set of flyers home, read them, discover my email on them and send me a note

 

There is a strong printing tradition in Mexico (both off-set and screen-printing), the Santo Domingo neighbourhood in the Colonia Centro being the place to go for the cheapest prices. Volantes, or flyers, are a common way of advertising in Mexico and involve one colour printed on newsprint or low-quality bond paper. The flyers are then handed out to everybody on the street, placed on car windshields or deposited in mailboxes. They are typically used to advertise repair shops such as refrigerator, shoes, plumbing and other sites of popular culture. At the same time, there is a strong tradition of painted signs and vinyl scrim banners. Here, I am using the flyer and banner to “advertise” the problematics of language and communication, but via a popular means used by the middle and lower-middle classes in certain neighbourhoods of Mexico City. On one side of the flyer are images of mouth, tongue and neck surgeries, taken from 1950s medical books found a used book stores in my ‘hood in Mexico City. These surgical techniques are implicit references to the medical profession, but my intention is not to allude so much to illness and curing, but rather to fixing or repairing by complete removal, elimination, or absence. Silencing. The quotes on the back, excised from their contexts of literary theory, are meant to clarify ideas around language and meaning. However, we find ourselves excluded by the foreign languages, not understanding the message the flyer is meant to publicise.