‘ESTAS RUINAS QUE VES / THESE RUINS YOU SEE’, Mariana Castillo Deball
Contributions by Mariana Castillo Deball, Guadalupe Espinosa, Jorge Ibargüengoitia, Jesse Lerner, Sonia Lombardo de Ruiz, Sandra Rozental, Adam T. Sellen, Gabriela Torres-Mazuera
Mexico’s relationship with archaeology is a complex one. In addition to studying the distant past through its material vestiges, it is deeply engaged in more recent aspects of politics, education, national identity, and public works. The various layers of its historical past are forever present, giving rise to continual interpretations, reconstructions, demolitions, and annexations. Mexico’s archaeology is resolved in the present and its history is being modified like city landscapes, public policies, and textbooks. The project THESE RUINS YOU SEE shifts between politics, history, heritage, and identity in an attempt to find, in the present, the vestiges of archaeological practice.
The publication contains a collection of found objects and exhumed artifacts, bringing together a number of texts and illustrations—some of them contemporary and others historical—on the history of collections and exhibitions of pre-Cortesian objects, as well as the manufacture of replicas, the shadowy world of forgers, the relocation of key objects, and related themes. The objective of all of this excavation and collecting is to bring into sharp relief the ideological baggage and the range of museographic practices that always and inevitably frame our perception of these objects. This publication is part of the project THESE RUINS YOU SEE, it includes the project’s research, realization, and a series of specially commissioned essays. The project has manifested in different exhibitions, publications, and lectures. Design of the book in close collaboratin with Mariana Castillo Deball.
‘ESTAS RUINAS QUE VES / THESE RUINS YOU SEE’ was exhibited at the Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil from November 8, 2006 to February 28, 2007. This book is available via Sternberg Press, ISBN 978-1-933128-46-7.
‘Pastiche’ is a typeface designed by Manuel Raeder with Hannes Gloor, specifically for the project ‘ESTAS RUINAS QUE VES’, Mariana Castillo Deball.
The typeface is based in early documents from the end of the 19th century, at the starting of the archaeological practice in Mexico. The publishers at that time developed a syncretic style mixing ornamental elements from the pre-Columbian cultures together with european typefaces. This mixture is what inspired the typeface, which combines elements from printed fonts, hand written and typewriters. The title of the font: Pastiche, comes from the text of Adam Sellen included in the book, where he refers to the pastiche Zapotec urns, forgeries elaborated based on casts from different pieces, creating a unique fake piece.