Andrea Balestrero, Nina Fiocco, Ulises Matamoros Ascensión, Rogelio Sánchez Velázquez 2014

“The Salgari Method” is a nomadic art event directed to develop artistic-architectonic installations through a community based process. Emilio Salgari (1862-1911) was an Italian writer who – without traveling outside his nation- wrote numerous novels set in several distant countries distributed on all the continents which he got to know just through news and images found in magazines, books, newspapers. One hundred years later, this mechanism of knowledge of distant places through media (such as the Internet) by renouncing to a direct experience has become totally ordinary for everyone. With the aim to reflect on this way to “know from a distance”, our project establishes a dialogue with communities and builds, basing on this collective brainstorming, artistic and architectural installations that mimic landscapes or remote architectures through the use local materials.

Santa Ines Ahuatempan is a N’giba (Popoloca) community inhabiting the Sierra Mixteca Poblana. Due to the difficult economic conditions of the area many of its inhabitants have to migrate to USA. We decided to discuss with the community the issues of migration and removal in cultural and personal terms. Therefore we collectively recreate an almost lost local tradition: the custom of  moving a palm house carrying it on our shoulders. This effort, normally accomplished for practical purposes, in this case served to place it in the town’s Zócalo solely for the purpose of being dismantled, indirectly declaring a disintegration of a certain type of society lost to Western influences. Next, a symbolic element suggested by the community was represented with the materials of the house: in this case, paradoxically, the Statue of Liberty.