Fantástica Mexico is a playful installation intended as an immersive audio-visual cityscape of a reduced imaginary section of present-day Mexico City.  It is a dense photomontage spread in linear space offering a peculiar, hallucinated point of view on this exceptional and fascinating megalopolis in miniature form. The viewer strolls along a marvellous urban chimera in which themes of public space and architecture play important roles. The modular and evolving landscape acknowledges the exhilarating vitality of a hybrid and cacophonic street with an abundance of small details and enigmatic scenes.

This urban theatre is ultimately questioning life conditions in a monstrous, at times hostile metropolis of incredible scale and the abilities of citizens to cope with the built environment. It is also questioning our perception of the contemporary global city.

The reconstructed street view is scattered with signs and billboards, each of them signifying a direction, a place, and values. Words impose themselves imperatively in a linguistic cosmos. There is an overload of typographies of all kinds and qualities through signs or advertisements.

The use of photography reveals what has been hidden from the naked eye by regular habits and the vortex of everyday life banalities. Photography permits us to stop and look closely at the infinitely strange intricacies of an uncontrollable city. As Susan Sontag pointed out concerning Baudelaire’s view of the modern poet; “The photographer—and the consumer of photographs—follows in the footsteps of the rag picker, […] bleak factory buildings and billboard-cluttered avenues look as beautiful, through the camera’s eye, as churches and pastoral landscapes. More beautiful, by modern taste.”[1]

This animated diorama derives from Micropolis 2.0, an earlier installation created from cut-out screen-prints which I made in collaboration with artist Allison Moore between 2010 and 2015. Micropolis attempted to organize the chaos of urbanity while referencing Québec City, Montréal and Toronto. It was exhibited in several galleries across the country and abroad.

[1] Sontag, S. (2005). On photography. 1st ed. New York: Rosetta, p.61

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