In Argentina—as in almost all Latin American countries—the cartoons and other audiovisual productions shown on free to view television channels were, until recently, dubbed in Mexico. Latin American children grew up accustomed to two different ways of speaking Spanish: two accents, two sets of vocabulary, two mindsets.
The dual visual and aural experience of meeting the physical owners of these voices opens up a whole field of phenomenological speculation for Obeid. “Getting inside the cartoon character” [meterse al mono] is the expression the voice actors use to indicate the moment at which they inhabit the character, feel it from within—“animate” it. The expression suggests bringing to life something inanimate, or a form of ventriloquism, the possibility of occupying a body with a different voice, or—from another point of view—clothing a particular voice with a body. Despite the evidence expressed in the interviews, at an emotional level the cartoon continues to demand that particular voice, and the visual primacy it holds over the childhood experience makes it almost impossible not to respond to this demand.
Through an exploration of the political and economic history of the profession of dubbing in Mexico, Doubles expands on the initial question in order to reveal a space of conflict where all the tensions brought about by globalization enter into play: the struggle between small and large, the strategies used to overcome cultural barriers, the emergence of new codes of communication resulting from the speed of electronic media, the more or less explicit resistances to different forms of imperialism, as well as the cultural blending, influence and changes in form that progressively, and irreversibly, affect the content.
Artist / Leticia Obeid (Cordoba, Argentina, 1975)
Curators / Muna Cann, Alejandra Labastida
Translation: Fionn Petch, Celorio Morayta, servicio especializado de idiomas
Authors : Alejandra Labastida, Leticia Obeid
Language : Spanish & English