Anthem magazine, 2004
At the end of the 20th century economic and socio-political dynamics have encouraged the creation of countless “alternative” artistic praxis within the city of
Tijuana then is an example of this great hybrid experiment where the notion of authentic culture and identity is no longer credible within its urban form, the city mixes desires and symbols that have a relation with a simulated history of the city itself.
In both cases Canclini and Yepez endorse important artistic practices that somehow have included the discourse of identity and culture of the US/Mexico border. Some of these practices have promoted the fusion of language, cultural traditions, cross-cultural identity and other urban representations of post modernity as in the case of Guillermo Gomez Peña. While in
Century 21, created by Marco Ramirez “Erre” in 1994, is a project that has been important and popular concerning current conceptualizations of the border region and current phenomena of immigration, impact of globalization and other factors that have been critical to the development of the Tijuana/San Diego urban binomial The artist recreated a dwelling typical to the ones built in the informal settlements of the city on the esplanade of the Tijuana Cultural Center, designed in the late 70’s by the renown Mexican architects Pedro Ramirez Vazquez and Manuel Rosen Morrison, a building that represents the institutional modernism of the PRI party that ruled Mexico for more then 70 years. Century 21 intended to de-contextualize both structures by making apparent and visible the formal and tempo-spatial tension inherent in the large context of the city and realizing that the concept of border is illustrative of the inherent antagonism that haunts not only the US/Mexico region but is prevalent within the local urban space of the city of Tijuana. This tectonic confrontation found in Century 21 is analogous to the many paradoxical effects within the city and in the architectures of dyslexia that never intend to integrate into a synthesized form or space (hybrid), but engage in a violent dialogue temporarily resolved through a series of negotiating acts that are necessary for survival and coexistence.
Century 21 foto: insite 94/Marcos Ramirez -erre
The work of Erre brings to the forefront interesting issues and questions for architectural/urban practices to consider. Can we consider an urban model for the hybrid/fission counterparts? If these two primordial elements of the conceptualization of the border region and the city of
The assumption that hybrid environments simply accommodate or encourage pluralistic tendencies or multicultural practices should be turned on its head. Hybrid people do not always create hybrid places and hybrid places do not always accommodate hybrid people. All that can be hoped for at the beginning of the 21st century are environments that harbor the potential for growth and change and peoples who may find the possibility of adapting and adopting otherness as a legitimate form of self-identification. (AlSayyad, 2001)
In the last 8 years the
The concept of hybridty has become an important discussion in the history of postmodern border art. Artist have intended to discuss issues of identity and multiculturalism though ideas in favor or against it and recently writers like
Architects have had a passive role in the construction of the urban realm. Major urban developments have been made through forceful intervention, foreign and national; in the name of de-codifying the Mexican border with a national modern style or as a place of architectonic de-contextualization such as the Agua Caliente Casino designed in a Moorish/Mission Revival style for the mob by a San Diego teenage draftsman named Wayne McAllister in 1928 (Nichols 2007). Since its conception, this city that border created, has had episodes of urban consolidation as well as instances of rampant and irregular development. Art practices have evolved much efficiently within the codes and concepts that intent to define the urban border. It seems that urban spatial practices still need to mature into elaborate multifunctional networks that can find resources and mechanism for a sense of criticality and adaptation. It might be that in
AlSayyad, Nezar. Hyrbid Urbanism Praeger Publisher. 2001
Alegria, Tito. Legalizando La Ciudad Asentamientos Informales y Procesos de Regularización en Tijuana. El Colegio de La Frontera Norte, 2005.
Canclini, Nestor Garcia. Culturas Hibridas. Grijalbo. 1990.
Montezemolo,F Peralta,R Yepez,H. Here is Tijuana. Black Dog. London. 2006.
Nichols, Chris. The Leisure Architecture of Wayne McAllister. Gibbs Smith.
Yepez, Heriberto. Made in