AYOTZINAPA / SEARCH, DEATH AND RESURRECTION
ROBERTO DE LA TORRE
The proposed theme is linked to the disappearance of the 43 students of the Rural School Ayotzinapa “Raúl Isidro Burgos,” which occurred on September 26, 2014, in Iguala, Guerrero. This project makes reference to the many graves that have been found throughout the country with hundreds of bodies of deceased people.
During this performance, I explored the interior and exterior of the performance space (a former public school) through the use of different tools of various shapes and sizes that I found in the space while exploring. At the beginning of the event I had a small spoon that I found inside of a potted plant, then under some bushes I located a shovel that I used to dig the earth, which then revealed a set of buried shovels which I offered to the public so that they could help me dig.
Later on, with the support of other volunteers we moved to the playground area and began to remove the earth until we discovered beneath the surface, dirty and torn clothing. I took the buried garments and hung them on the metal structures at the recreational park as if they were human skins.
Finally, standing on a compact mound in front of two of the facades of the building, I focused on one of the windows where the photographs of the missing students were placed. I repeatedly banged the edge of the shovel against the dirt, the same way other participants had started to do so with their own tools—and as a result, a synced, deep, metal sound emanated all around the room. While this was happening, hundreds of printed sheets of paper were thrown down from one of the windows, which represented the awakening of a large segment of the Mexican population that has gone out on the streets to demonstrate repudiation of such atrocious events.