Aleksandra Mir

Yo No Hablo Español

MEXICO CITY—Responding to the mandate set by the curators of ‘Localismos’, a month-long residential workshop, that artists-in-residence “work with materials and craftsmanship available in the historical center - so that from its conception, production and exhibition there is a coherent dialogue with the context”, I approached a series of local craftsmen to produce for me a series of signs in a variety of techniques - letterpress, paper, cast and welded metal - that all spell out the sentence ‘Yo No Hablo Español’. To communicate, we used drawings, sign language and laughed a lot. I even managed to learn some Spanish through the process. The signs were then put back into circulation or displayed in the areas where they were made. In my commissioning of these signs, two lies converged into a new truth: the tourist’s desire for local exotica met the craftsman’s desire to sell-out his own traditions. In the handshake, the parties understood each other perfectly, agreed on an exchange value, and a new object, with absolute integrity, was created