ANIMIST MUSEUM OF LAKE TEXCOCO
The concept of animism originally named—and subjected—certain forms of knowledge and practice which would not fit the modern worldview: the living and the inanimate were thusly split apart into two separate realms, allowing order to come out of a seeming state of chaos. The Animist Museum of Lake Texcoco circulates among various disciplines and practices, seeking to actualize this otherwise pejorative word. Situated in the context of today’s Lake Texcoco, this project presents the desiccation of Mexico’s central basin as a complex phenomenon in which the living and the inanimate are confounded, and the past is constantly re-animated in the present.
The exhibits composing this museum are alive, as they are primary witnesses of Lake Texcoco’s multiple transformations.
The debris collection was brought together after a series of explorations on Lake Texcoco’s grounds. Multiple material traces were gathered in such surveys: these traces revealed how the relationship between humans and land has developed on the basin since 1971. An ensemble of exhibits has resulted, all catalogued by their place of origin and their function within the lake’s current context.
These terrains are a way of charting certain geographical points within Lake Texcoco. Diverse samples of soils reveal the present morphology of the lake’s territory: earth, vegetation and debris are juxtaposed and intermingled. The samples have been captured on ground level, from a non-human point of view: the terrain is viewed through its details, without a horizon ahead, impeding the formation of a landscape.
ACTIVATION IN MORELIA, MEXICO
The Animist Museum of Lake Texcoco’s (AMLT) first activation took place in Morelia (state of Michoacan, Mexico), as a series of exchanges and encounters through and about the AMLT’s collection. A heterogeneous ensemble of people was brought together over the course of four intensive weeks (academics, activists, independent researchers, students, and visitors), to talk about museums, ecological issues, forms of territorial representation, and artistic research. Also, Lake Texcoco’s recent past detonated speculations on possible futures for Michoacan’s lacustrine cartography: its endangered water bodies, unequal water distribution policies, and forms of resistance were discussed.
The AMLT was activated at Clavijero Cultural Center (Morelia, Mexico) from March 22nd to April 22nd, 2018. This activation was co-produced by the Third Artistic Research Residency (Performance Studies and Live Arts Seminar / Art History Laboratory), the Laboratory of Publications, and the "Community Monitoring Project: a Strategy for the Unequal Distribution of Water Within Communities Which Face Poverty and Socio-Environmental Conflict” (National School of Higher Studies, Morelia, UNAM), with the support of MUCA Roma.
Curating the Animist Museum of Lake Texcoco. The Oxford Artistic and Practice Based Research Journal, Número 2
Escala de grises: el desalojo del predio Hidalgo y Carrizo. Islario, Número 1