Qué prro calorón
artist: Ramiro Durán
by: Gabriel Solis
" I am the one who is passing through."
Passing by. Ciudad Juárez 2020. I am originally from Ciudad Obregón, Sonora, city to which I thought with particular characteristics of a town, or maybe, a town with peculiarities of city. I could never decide. The thing is that it was a small place, where it was very hot and everyone knew each other; every time I went back to that place I found my ex-girlfriend with her new boyfriend, who was my girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend, it was definitely a world where there probably wasn’t that many choices. I imagined, every time I returned, that those people always had the same stories, that repeated over and over again waiting for me to return, similar to what happened to the character in "Truman Show". That feeling stayed in my memory and I felt the stories freeze every time I came back.
For quite some time, I grew up mistakenly thinking of my hometown as a pass-though city, as if it was a place of transition. It was a space where you line up for everything, and at times you have to wait in the sun and for times under the shade of a tree, waiting your turn to go to a nice place or at least with air conditioning; similar to the thought of the sonorense who lives near the northern border of the country, where on the other side were the nice stores, even just to see them, because in the end you ended up buying clothes at the JC Penny or at the Ross, or whatever the name of the outlet store was near an Oxxo. That place where life is apparently more beautiful, success stories where carpenters and masons used their WOLVES-please sit down and keep it together to listen to this-to go to work. Also, rumor has it that people-when they were on the side of Mexico-threw their 600ml Coca bottles out the window of the car, while there, at the nice territory, they did throw them in the trash can and even respected the traffic lights. "There, in the United States, streets are actually beautiful and even make you want to take care of them," my uncle told me, justifying his action since I once caught him throwing a cigarette butt outside my house.
I had been telling in my head that the function of the pass-though cities- like Ciudad Obregón or Ciudad Juárez- was to connect with a large city or with another as if that was their only purpose of existence, perhaps denying for starters the complexity of these places and the people who inhabit them; over time I have been exploring another possibility: it is not that these people could not move, or had nothing new to tell, Perhaps it was rather that the individuals of these cities are not heard in their breadth.
In the photographs of my compa Ramiro Duran I receive a reminder of this contact from the other that we sometimes maintain as an invisible, stereotyped entity; enhances the appreciation towards these border places that for a long time I classified as places of transition, and by ignorance, the possibility that the characters in the photographs that inhabit these border cities have a life and environment of their own gets lost, with an infinity of stories that are being reproduced at the same time. Ramiro Durán fills this border city with complex and suffering characters in an intricate encounter between the U.S. and Mexico where he forms a hybrid, which is neither one nor another, but a third language with its beautiful particularities. Ramiro Durán’s photographs produce and question my vague idea that I am the one who is passing through, and I can only glimpse, hear a fragment of the story that is reproduced, either with my presence or absence.