Edgardo Aragón

(México, 1985)


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Tropical Depression is based on Edgardo Aragón’s work with two, young, dissimilar neighbors: Abraham, a biologist/barista from the state of Guerrero; and Joel, a former soldier who runs a sound system that plays Colombian music. The artist facilitated a situation where these neighbors could carry out the complete process of sowing, cultivating, harvesting, and preparing coffee, a plant that becomes the central character and subject for the artist who orchestrated a complex mise-en-scène.

Recalling the rites performed on Colombian plantations, Joel scored the moment of planting with cumbias and danced for the plants. In other moments, a group of musicians from the neighborhood improvised an experimental concert modeled on the Aztec death whistle, and multiple strobe lights panned over the plant before it was harvested. In this way, a very particular performance that used multiple strategies to feed the energy and growth of the plant was carried out..

In this work, coffee brings together and links the two young people, who, despite not knowing each other or having parallel life stories, share a familiarity with violent situations related to drug trafficking and militarization, whether for the call to war against drugs during Felipe Calderón’s six-year presidential term, or by the persecution of guerrilla groups beginning in the 1970s in the state of Guerrero. Both young men had constructed fictions that allowed them to cope with an environment of latent, present, and constant violence whose reality directly or indirectly involves and affects us all.

—Josefa Ortega

Curators: Osvaldo Sánchez and Josefa Ortega
Final Project: Video installation/2-channel projection/Length 23'