Jesús Cruz Caba (1979) lives and works in Mexico City. With a bachelor’s degree on Visual Communication and Design at Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas–UNAM, he has worked as an editorial designer at the head of projects of visual communication for contemporary art museums such as the Carrillo Gil Contemporary Arts Museum and the Eco Experimental Museum, where is currently developing the program image. He has collaborated with various cultural institutions for editorial projects, such as Casa del Lago Juan José Arreola, MUCA Roma and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Oaxaca. His work is a conceptual and formal relations around the legacy of the avant-garde movements, their presence up to now in the project of modernity in Latin America and the sociocultural processes derived from this integration. His work explores possible extensions of the typographic design practice to be moved to different contexts and media. He is part of NETER, an artistic work platform in Mexico City that places its development and thematic in diverse mythologies and site specific work.
In 2015 he developed a typographic exercise combining two variations of the same typo in order to create or write the phrase Manifiestos para la experimentación. (Manifestos for experimentation). Now for this residency, this phrase is fragmented in its 13 syllables where each one is combined with linear drawings depicting all fictional architectural planes, abstract urban landscapes and routes of personal walks. The series of these elements will be blind embossed and will be integrated to a fictional letter written to the artist Frans Masereel with questions and reflections on shaping intangible environments, territories of exploration. The text will be printed in letterpress.
'Contact is Content'
To walk together with a map of common understandings, mapping firm and flexible bridges where we can sketch ideas in a Darwinian adaptation. Like branches of a tree, growing and pointing in every direction.
In this way an echo of the urban landscape comes to my body. It wraps me in an ascendant sea breeze that, to my surprise, reveals a collection of letters with tactile routes, and while I palpitate in a hallucinatory freshness, I hear a voice brush against my back. How close are you to your home country?
I turn at once but make nothing out. I look back and then hear what follows:
“I am a travelling choreography, on the move for a long time. My origin is the ink that invokes the highest wills. The dreams and ideals that make me up modelled a feminine figure; today, however, after walking thousands of roads, my outline is not defined by any gender. My evanescence is distinguished in various ways – everything depends on the place I find myself in. I can say that the surrounding context gives me the voice to sing an echo.
My logic of transfiguration likes to combine a maximum of density and maximum views with a lot of solar luminosity. Perhaps this behaviour sounds absurd, and given that it’s hard for you to see me, imagine a public square with thousands of passers-by of different nationalities exchanging ideas, or perhaps a building that plays host to houses, restaurants and offices while it produces its own energy thanks to its location, orientation and acclimation.
On a path that oscillates between the real and the fantastic, bit by bit I assume my form. I have to admit that there have been good times. Nevertheless right now I am a body ripped, fragmented, dissected, in mourning. I move sorrowfully after having echoed violence, serial killings, the disappearance of students, hatred, corruption, famine, political persecutions, ruined families, doomed migrants, natural disasters… I am a body dispossessed of itself, pierced by a land whose name I cannot now recall, but one Saturday morning I heard someone call it ‘meeting of all nations’.
The ink that marked by skin contains stories that are transformed as they traverse each one of those lines. It was in this way that the whirlwind of energy I mentioned has shaken them, unleashing a storm that has altered my process to such a degree that all that is left to me is an almost intangible skin. Accompanied by a kind of schizophrenia that from time to time induces accesses of anxiety.
How can I reconcile with that voice and the body to which I belong? By giving them a better life and re-inhabit those stories in a new telling. In the distance this echo is desperately seeking for this voice.
In the distance I hear regenerate the essence covered by my skin, I hear regenerate the stories and the urban landscape that they find in them. Images and symbols that can be used as tools to come to grips with our most painful experiences. I seek the voice that gives back to me the echo of an interminable urban landscape, in which citizens feel that they belong and are sufficiently involved to take care of their city, and participate in it.“
All I can see now is that these images are clearer, and now, the feeling of a solid caress giving warmness on my back.
To Frans Masereel
Greetings from Kasterlee
18.01.2016 - 26.02.2016