Magazine article Artforum International

Miguel Fernandez De Castro: Proyecto Paralelo

Magazine article Artforum International

Miguel Fernandez De Castro: Proyecto Paralelo

Article excerpt

MEXICO CITY

Miguel Fernandez de Castro

PROYECTO PARALELO

An inexplicable insecurity; an empty uncertainty; a strange, ineffable sensation resembling desire--these were the responses triggered in those who entered "NEGRO, NEGRO" (Black, Black), the most recent solo exhibition by Miguel Fernandez de Castro. The visitor's gaze encountered exceedingly smooth domesticated surfaces of things seen and yet not seen: sixteen photographic images and a floor covered with thirty-five semicubic rocks made of condensed minerals (Tiempo lamido [Licked Time], 2016) that had been perforated into whimsical shapes. Fernandez de Castro's work emerges from a familiarity with not only the territories, roads, holes, and erosions of Sonora, Mexico, the state where he was born and still lives, but also with the way of life, challenges, and dangers involved in maintaining a cattle ranch today in this specific territory. Saturated with various fortifying minerals, these blocks are part of the cattle's daily diet; the animals lick them, sometimes for hours at a time. Among the rocks selected by the artist to be exhibited, the one with the briefest "time of contact" with an animal shows an erosion that occurred over four hours; thus, what we see in those perforations, created with evident and seductive finesse, is duration. Distinct temporalities, as variable as the territory they inhabit, constitute this "licked time."

The centuries-old practice of feeding minerals to cattle in this fashion and the resulting erosion expose a kind of insatiable appetite--not unlike the hunger for narcotics--and it is precisely in this part of northern Sonora that the greatest quantity of drugs is transported across the border between Mexico and the United States. Fernandez de Castro has spent more than five years traveling around this region and generating a visual archive of it--of the inverse mutations that encapsulate the durations, the profits, the risks, and the benefits. …

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