Emmanuelle Léonard projects images videos texts français


Guardia, resguárdeme



Guardia, resguárdeme


Guardia, resguárdeme


Guardia, resguárdeme


Guardia, resguárdeme


Guardia, resguárdeme

video

In the streets of Mexico City, the number of private security guards is estimated at 12,000. There are some 10,000 private security companies in the country, but, in the year 2000, only 2,984 of these had a valid permit. These companies offer a variety of “products,” such as armed bodyguards, elite chauffeurs, armoured cars, radio and video surveillance systems, etc. Everywhere, guardaespaldas keep watch for widely varying salaries (which sometimes include meal tickets and uniforms and are sometimes nothing more than these bonuses). On Moneda Street is one of many clothing stores specializing in uniforms of every description. Given that a great number of workers have more than one job, or move from one to another, it has become practically impossible to distinguish the cop from the security guard from the criminal. In 1998, the legislative assembly declared that these private guards had become more numerous than the police. In the streets of Mexico City, a gringa is walking with the lens of a surveillance camera planted in her hat. Now a part of the urban landscape, this discreet eye is the product of an increasingly popular technology; private life and private property, become synonymous, must be protected. It is a tool of uncertain birth (police departments, private industry, individuals) and of improbable recipients (are they watching?). It is an autonomous device: no biography intrudes upon the image. One can never be too wary of the interference of human weakness.

The encounter between two control strategies, a guard and a camera, will take place around a public space, the Plaza de la Constitución, the Plaza Zócalo. She looks for him, moves slowly towards him. The two instruments come up against one another, their function is altered. In the rubbing together of these observation systems, contact is brief, it is of the order of the persistence of vision. A furtive breach is opened. For a brief moment, the eye slips. Because their paths separated. Paths always separate. We carry tools with us, and tactics within us. My body is not neutral ground. Nor is yours, by the way. We keep watch. We have to protect ourselves, my love.

Guardia, resguárdeme.



Exhibitions:

2005 Territoires urbains, Montreal Museum of contemporary art
2006 Oakville Galleries, Oakville