Order and Progress addresses the problematic idea of progress and its colonial consequences in relation to a failed modernity. Based on research by Toledo into the links between Mexico and Great Britain, the project questions, on the basis of historical acts, the political, social, and cultural development and context of the two countries.
Based on the relationship between the English civil engineer and contractor Weetman Pearson and Mexican president Porfirio Díaz, Toledo examines the construction of the Trans-Isthmus Railroad. The train line was intended to establish a trade link between the port of Salina Cruz, Oaxaca on the Pacific Ocean, with Coatzacoalcos in Veracruz, on the Gulf of Mexico, so that Mexico could enter into direct competition with the Panama Canal for the transport and export of goods.
Using documentary information found in the Science Museum in London, Toledo constructs a narrative that contrasts this modern colonial project and exploitation of natural resources with the current situation in the Isthmus, a region where the artist spend her early years. The construction of the railroad, the opening, the living conditions, images of the landscape, and telegrams relating to the imminent Mexican Revolution, together with an inventory of the British possessions, are linked to the complex contemporary situation in the region.
The result is an installation in which different elements come together to create an experience of this historical dislocation and articulation. With videos, live music, an embroidered map, photographs and a newspaper with texts on colonialism and migration, the artist resignifies the reality of the region and displays the failure of the Western utopia of prosperity.
Artist: Laureana Toledo (México, 1970)
Curators: Marco Morales and Virginia Roy
Musicians: Natalia Pérez, Alex Otaola, Iraida Noriega, Dan zlotnik, Luca Ortega
Project supported by the Grant and Commissions Program of the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO), and the National System of Creators of the National Fund for Culture and Arts in Mexico.
Espacio de Experimentación Sonora
Authors : Javier Álvarez, María Baranda, Eduardo Bernal, Carole Chargueron, José Julio Díaz Infante, Mario Lavista, Alejandro L. Madrid, Cuauhtémoc Medina, Miguel Molina Alarcón, Marco Morales Villalobos, Gabriela Ortíz, Laureana Toledo, Jorge Vargas Cortez
Language : Spanish & English