Adela Goldbard

b. 1979 in Mexico
Lives and works in the US

In the series Paraallegories,Adela Goldbard reflects on the paradoxes of violence in Mexico by bringing together photography, film, performance, sculpture and Mexican folk crafts. In collaboration with artisans from Tultepec (the outskirts of Mexico City), Adela Goldbard builds – in life-size and with materials like cardboard and reeds – different vehicles, buildings and objects which refer to events that make the news in the Mexican media because of their violence, protest, dissidence or repression. Each object is loaded with a specific symbolism: for example, the Lobo pickup is the epitome of drug trafficking while Oxxo stores and Coca-Cola Christmas trees are a symptom of capitalism and burning buses are the means used by drug cartels to block motorways and evade capture. Later, with the support of pyrotechnicians and actors, Goldbard stages different scenes of protest which she records by means of video and photography. The ephemeral structures are built and destroyed according to the tradition of the Burning of Judas, a critical exercise that is dressed up as a popular ritual. Common in several Latin American nations, the practice involves stringing up an effigy that embodies evil and either burning it or blowing it up using fireworks. In her work, the ephemeral structures and artefacts blend with real cars and suburban landscapes, while the handcrafted nature of the objects contrasts with the technical quality of the photographs and videos. The ambiguous character of the staged protests reflects on the corrupt nature of reality, in both political and ontological terms.

© Adela Goldbard