Mexico City – Under the shade of Latin America’s first skyscraper, the Torre Latinoamericana, “La política del límite” (The Politics of Limits) sits quietly. A work from Venezuelan artist, María Verónica Machado Penso, “La política del límite” ask questions about the nature of limits and borders — specifically that between Mexico and the United States, the most dangerous in the world — and how they can be both places of creation as well as division.
The installation is made of a thousand PVC pipes, each standing at three meters in height that are stuck into the floor of the Atrio de San Francisco in the Historic Center. The tubes themselves, filled with phrases, ideas, and words from authors and visitors to the exhibition, restrict movement in what is usually an empty, uninterrupted space. One of Penso’s inspirations was the quote from Spanish philosopher José Ortega y Gasset, who said: “It is not about the possibilities of the limits, but the limits of the possibilities.”
That the messages are placed inside the tubes is significant. The exhibition’s intention is to think about borders as a place of interaction and creation. As an immovable object, the tubes disrupt the space but they also contain ideas within themselves, thereby offering a new perspective on a sensitive topic. Messages inside the tubes, written in both Spanish and English as well as braille, range from optimism, “The limit is only in our minds!” to demand; “Mexico despierta!” (Wake up, Mexico!).
Penso has stated that she sees the U.S.-Mexico border as a possible space of dialogue. For many communities at the border, possibilities have been created simply by its existence. Communities have inverted the meaning of the border for their own use.
A thought-provoking and powerful exhibition, “La política del límite” is free to enter and runs until October 18. For more information, click here.