05 Sep Miradora at the Atrio de San Francisco English version
Given that gender-related violence exists on so many levels in our country, we chose to reflect on this pressing issue as one that affects us all, regardless of our gender identity. Through this installation, we seek to change the orientation of the human gaze by appealing to the empathy required to transform the fabric of our society. We have grown accustomed to the generic male perspective that rules the world, to which we owe the Torre Latinoamericana’s mirador (the male-gendered term for overlook in Spanish). Yet, we cannot help but wonder what would happen if through a simple gesture, such as adding the letter “a” associated with the female gender, we were to change the gaze of the “mirador” to that of a “miradora”.
As pedestrians, we keep our eyes fixed straight ahead, and at exhibitions, artworks tend to be positioned in front of us. We are accustomed to this comfortable gaze. Empathy, however, often compels us to change our position and direct our gaze elsewhere. Not below, as if we were looking down on something, but rather by reflecting on where and why we look at things as we are accustomed to do. That is why in this artwork, we sought to invert human perspective by creating a sea above and a sky below. What tends to lie straight ahead, for example the sea, is now found up above our heads; what tends to hover overhead, like the clouds, now lie before us. We seek thereby to create a space for reflection –which is what the sea and the sky are, truly or metaphorically– in the midst of one of Mexico City’s most popular attractions.
In addition to this sea above –composed of ribbons that undulate in the strong winds that traverse this space– and the static clouds that lie before us, we chose a series of words that will hopefully appeal to the empathy of visitors and may be seen on their cell phones. What do these words make us think or feel? How do they change our perspective? How can we all become miradoras? What becomes visible from here? We hope some answers may be found in this upward sea and downward sky. Or better yet, that more questions may arise.
Miradora is a project of the Fundación del Centro Histórico in collaboration with the artists Brenda Lozano, Marcos Castro, and over 20 organizations and collectives that comprise the Sin miedo a ser campaign.
We are grateful to the organizations, activists, and persons participating in the Sin miedo a ser campaign who, with their efforts, stories, thoughts and feelings, inspired this work: Red de Juventudes Trans, EQUIS Justicia para las Mujeres, ILSB, In-tersecta, GIRE, Balance A.C., Existimos, Quere Trans, Fondo Semillas, Hola, Amigue, Transformar Trascender, IOIO México, Asociación por las infancias transgénero, Escucharnos Decir, Impulso Trans, Las Indecidibles, Casa de las Muñecas Tiresias, Casa Hogar Paola Buenrostro, Más Sueños, and Centro de Apoyo a las Identidades Trans A.C. (CAIT)
Special thanks to Jessica Marjane, Natalia Lane, Giovanna Salazar, and the Alianza Mexicana de Trabajadoras Sexuales.
Also to the Torre Latinoamericana, Synergy Studio, Fernando Cásarez, and all those who have collaborated in this process.
In memory of Alessa and all the victims of feminicide and hate crimes: their lives were torn away from us, but their memory remains as a seed for our struggle. To all the women who imagine and construct more just realities that embrace our diversity.
Marcos Castro is a visual artist with an interest in painting and muralism. His work has been exhibited in a variety of institutions, both in Mexico and abroad. He lives in Mexico City.
Brenda Lozano is a narrator, essayist, and editor. Her most recent novel is Brujas (Alfaguara, 2020), she writes for the newspaper El País and lives in Mexico City.