FUNDIDORA S. A.
Steel: a weapon, locomotive, refrigerator, building.
Hurrah for progress!
Monterrey can somehow be perceived as a great company that has the looks of a city. A defining element of the culture is a high appreciation to labor. It is common to say that the land in fact is sterile and dry, and only the perseverance of human actions had enabled the growth of this specific urban space. Work, development, progress and wealth are entrepreneurial notions that were inherited there as social values.
In 2011, we began a process of research and questioning by using the photographic archive from the factory “Fundidora de Fierro y Acero de Monterrey, S. A.” (1900-1986), first iron and steel industry of Latin America and bastion of modernity in Mexico as a nation. The collection, which we found well guarded by the Fototeca de Nuevo León, comprises exceptional “archaeological” material that shows the behaviors of those men who sculpted the company with recurrent actions that revealed purposes, aspirations, missions.
The project “Fundidora S. A.” reflects on the ethics and aesthetics of Latin American capitalism in modern times, focusing on: the influence of politicians supporting or rendering a company invisible, the conflicts of interest that occur within power relations, the acts of demagogy of the governmental, entrepreneurial and union leaders, the re-arrangement of authority figures, the indulgence among those subjects that had reached higher positions, the relationship between industry and banks, the official events to commemorate achievements, the control mechanisms and the acts of ascent and descent in the socio-economical ladder.
Monterrey´s identity is undeniably linked to its industrial past. The photographic and documental archive of Fundidora, which today is a highly visited green and cultural area called Parque Fundidora, is the media we employed to learn about such past and later to interpret its multiple meanings.
Cuatro acciones (Four Actions) explains capitalism within the notion of modernity in Latin America.
The actions are Ascending/Descending, Looking/Aiming, Shaking Hands, and Giving/ Receiving.
© Colectivo Estetica Unisex
The Four Actions
Fundidora changed from being a private to a State company, and then transformed into a public park which is now a midst a privatization process.
The Parque Fundidora is a place that is debated between its public aim and the privatization plans that seem to direct its future to the services, tourism and entertainment market. Presently, businesses such as concert halls, museums and galleries, an amusement park, a skating rink, a wax museum, an aviary and an interactive museum, thrive.
ASCENDING / DESCENDING
Economically | Politically | Socially
The Challenger space shuttle completed 9 missions before disintegrating during its last travel on January 28, 1986. Coincidentally, the Fundidora company broke a few months after, onMay 9.
7 crew members died during the Challenger ́s last mission, putting in jeopardy the whole US space program. In the case of Fundidora, 60,000 workers found their jobs terminated and their lives greatly affected.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
The notion of conflict of interest relates to a certain loss of objectivity, impartiality and independence. Conflicts of interest cover up or protect personal bene ts obtained from positions of power at the expense of public or people ́s benefits.
THEORY OF THE LAND
History of the city.
Politicians and company managers are often seen imitating the physical labor of workers during o cial events in the Fundidora photographic archive. This demagogic practice erases and parodizes the worker gure in front of the media.
Sound: Carlos Prieto in collaboration with Jorge Díaz.
Faces of workers from Fundidora were printed and glued on some streets of Monterrey to initiate or provoke recollection about the industrial origin of the city.
Colectivo Estética Unisex is a joint effort done by Lorena Estrada Quiroga (1970, Mexico) and Futuro Moncada Forero (1971, Colombia). Their work has been presented in Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, USA, Spain, France and Malaysia. They have been awarded with several grants. Their work was published in “Existe lo que tiene nombre. Fotografía contemporánea en México” (USA/Mexico, 2015), “Matthew Tierney Book Project. 10 Years of Tierney Fellowship” (USA, 2014), “An Eye for an Ear. Photography Open Salon” (France, 2012) and “Programa de Fotografía Contemporánea 2011” (Monterrey, 2011).