Paul Ramírez Jonas

(USA, 1954)

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With Mi casa, su casa (My House, Your House), Paul Ramírez Jonas developed a series of public presentations to promote a dialogue on the definitions of access and trust. Mi casa, su casa manifested itself as a program of talks on how we experience the limits between public and private space, and what is designated an “open” or “closed” space. Ramírez Jonas employed the icon of the personal key as the center point of interaction for his illustrated talks. At the end of each talk, the artist, equipped with a key-cutting machine, initiated a multiple exchange of copied keys between those in attendance. As each audience member consented to swap his or her key, allowing it to be copied, each received in exchange the copy of a key belonging to someone else. Mi casa, su casa put into practice an exercise of trust among strangers. The key, representing the possibility of access, gave rise to a dialogue about reciprocity and faith in others. Presentation after presentation, an imaginary network of access and trust was created. Public and private realms were exposed in the individual gesture of this key exchange and in its narration. For this reason, perhaps, Mi casa, su casa, as an artistic proposal, began at the point where each presentation ended. The talks were given between August and October of 2005 in venues throughout San Diego and Tijuana.

Curators: Osvaldo Sánchez and Tania Ragasol
Venues: Various sites in San Diego and Tijuana