Te Amo ( in progress )
“Te Amo” is a reflection of how I was teach that love should be, and also for millions of Latin Americans. And many times it has been dysfunctional.
For decades ( 60´s, 70´s and 80´s ), the fotonovela deeply marked Latin American society, especially in México where they were a cultural product that was destined for a large and popular population mass. Many of the stories, written by men and women, that were portrayed in the magazines had a patriarchal and machista system that undoubtedly influenced generations, bringing to the present a part of all that.
Today we wonder where many of these attitudes come from, and the Latin American fotonovela there is a small part of the answers. In the fotonovela narrative, there is no complex plot. It begins with drama of jealousy or any other emotional manifestation that navigates between certain tragedies: crime, drug problems, infidelity, generalized violence, physical and psychological abuse, differences between the poor and the rich, and leads to a tragic end (death or exile ) or happy
( wedding or kiss ).
The complex narrative refers to the multiple exercises that the characters undergo: a process happens and a transformation happens. The exercises are not necessarily linear, in fact the less linear the more complex and more effective. Everything is concrete and generalized: I love you, I hate you, you are mine, I’ll leave you, I’ll hit you, I beg your forgiveness, you forgive me, you do not forgive me, I’ll kill you, I’ll kill myself, we are happy, we are unhappy, life is hard, life is beautiful.
Equally, both the dialogues and the aggressive actions in a fotonovela go unnoticed because they resort to hyper-sexualization and the sensory immediacy of the female body. It’s attractive and exciting to see them that it seems obvious that they were created to generate an instant sexualized reaction, with the intention of distracting attention from the core of the story and almost always in a dramatic violent, machista and misogynistic way. It’s so effective that the rest ( any kind of physical and psychological violence ) is unnoted.
Such harmful behaviors have been difficult to eradicate because they are still displayed subtly and also directly in the media, advertising and social media.
Through the appropriation of certain images of these fotonovelas and photographs made especially for the project in México and other places in Latin America, my idea is to reformulate the dialogues together with the montages, to break the unity of some prevailing sense ( victim-perpetrator ) and bring it to a space of doubt; although some can be incoherent in the strict sense of what is shown.
“Te Amo” is not a fotonovela made in the classical way. Instead of that, propose a reflection, with irony, dark humor and sarcasm, and of course in a very seriously way, as from the joy of the interior of the human drama opens a door to a parallel world where the tragic scenario of the novela ( drama again ) and the way we live relationships intermingle in a single vision. It’s also an invitation to laugh and question at yourself while evoking personal memories in the short dialogues. Not intended to be an imposition, just a subtle suggestion. My intention as an artist is to try to open the gaze and the thought to another side that is not the usual one. I am not going to tell you how we should be, I do not pretend to give lessons to anyone, especially in those related with love, because I have failed in almost all of them and although I have learned from each failure and from each fall into the abyss, I am not here to be a guide; that’s what psychological therapy is for.
The “Te Amo” project is a broad and uninhibited reflection. It takes what a certain artistic field avoids, which is at the same time latent and current in our behaviors, and invites a healthy discussion and exchange of ideas. With this artistic proposal, I have looked back on my personal experiences, confirmed patterns, and projected myself from my generational perspective, as a man who was nourished by drama and as an imperfect human being. Without seeking validation or forgiveness.
“Te Amo” is not autobiographical.