Reflections on the work of: Guadalupe Salgado
The premise of Tokyo (2008) resides in a question: What shapes us? We to the city or the city to us? In this film a critique of fierce capitalism, mechanization and the loss of the body is woven. Tokyo is the pretext to illustrate how there is no difference between a chair, an arm, a leg, a building or a window. In the chaos of tumultuous cities, only metonymic pieces of what was once the human being can be seen. Without problems a woman becomes a chair: used, moldable, replaceable. The city is the ideal space for the fragmented bodies that, due to so many ruptures, have gradually ceased to inhabit and represent.
In a shocking tale, Arthur Machen tells how the truly evil emerges from the everyday. There where the most beautiful roses begin to speak sweetly, there is the terrifying thing. It is also found in what could be too small or excessively large. It is enough to recall Alice in Wonderland to bring out the sensation from which I write. Now, taking into account that strange impression, imagine some animated hands - yes, like from the cartoons of yesteryear - that merge with the everyday and that hang from a pipe. Imagine that little by little two-dimensional hands merge with our 3D dimension. Better yet, imagine an animated two-dimensional foot on a pile of 3D pebbles. What will it be? A dead man, a missing person, someone suffocated by the city? Maybe nothing, but the image itself is suggestive.
13 years ago, the director of Parasites (2020), Bong Joon Ho, was already playing with the personifications of objects or with the objectification of people. (Choose the term that suits you best). The same happens if you look at Salgado's work with a magnifying glass. It would seem a nonsense, a game of dimensions, a permanent black work that highlights or borders the ducts: intestines or pipes. Better yet, it gives them a voice and personality. What is not that what Machen was talking about? The conduits lie underground, from there they give life and flow. They are never obvious, so the object and its parts make me uncomfortable.
Anything can happen, says the work of art in a corner, I would say: "Anything dismembered can be": Reality, bodies, the planet, the city. The sum of the parts is no longer a whole, only pieces that are splitting more and more. In the human body, the heart does not know that it is part of the brain. In the City, one part is the Montalbán of the tourists and another the theft of water. Every day we are more pieces. less body, less city, only pieces of the planet. Tokyo, Machen and Salgado share the miniature and the greatness that bothers; they personify objects and give voice to parts. That or maybe they have nothing to do with it.
Like pieces of bodies: lost feet and hands, camouflaged with space and evidencing something that I would like to forget: the time that is slipping away that is leaving and it is not because it has already been and is being.