2015 · 222 STEPS
Museo Cabañas (Instituto Cultural Cabañas), Guadalajara, México
Colección Diéresis is a contemporary art source established in Guadalajara, México. Its name origins in the eponymous diacritical mark that is a subtle gesture that gives a new sound or a different voice to an already known element of language. Departing from this operative platform, the works and projects that constitute Colección Diéresis, attempt to generate significant displacements in the perception of that which seems ordinary.
As a young entity, which is in constant formation, Colección Diéresis is devoted to research, acquire, preserve and spread contemporary art formations that are capable to produce new connections between knowledge and experience from an aesthetical and analytical position. Like most Mexican collections the starting point of this group of works started as a cultural interaction within a local environment and has gained terrain over time. The collection was initiated in the first decade of the twenty-first century focusing in local visual arts and ultimately has expanded its gaze towards a broader and international art production. One of the collections main research lines is the relationship and value systems analysis between modern and current art. Thus, the collection uses specific references of modern visual arts as historical nodes that trace a genealogy that sustains its current program
A second layer of the collections mission lays in the funding and supporting of specific projects that produce knowledge in the field that the collection itself studies. Such is the case of the present book, in which Gaal Cohen executes on of the ethnographic exercises that are common to his practice as a photographer. 222 pasos [222 steps], represents a oral history tracing in which the artist establish a set of parameters in which he pairs archetypes working in two different institution. On one side the workers of Instituto Cultural Cabañas, on the other side the dealers at the Mercado de San Juan de Dios. The physical proximity between both spaces is the initial premise in which the project origins, but furthermore, the trajectory suggested by the title forces a reflection on corporality: the body moving from one place to another, counting steps. The body experimenting two different types of consumerism, the basic and traditional goods that are sold in the market as well as the cultural goods offered by the museum. The latter often consumed with the same voracity, indifference or even with the same bargaining that the market goods.
Departing form this grid of relationships that try to unfold two different realities, Cohen portrays the visual qualities of the subjects (and their environments) he has heard the stories about. To crown this dialogue between personal narratives and identity elements a procession is made. It is the characters themselves who install the final object in the museum room, a deliberate attempt to reclaim the agency of the public within the cultural institution. The public here is not only the content of the show, but the active part, which is fundamental to the construct of the exhibition space.
Colección Diéresis is pleased to present this document, a report on the artistic and social process that 222 pasos represents.