Dulce Pinzón, The Real Story of the Superheroes at the Rencontres d’Arles
After September 11, the notion of the ‘hero’ began to rear its head in the public consciousness more and more frequently. It served a necessity, in a time of national and global crisis, to acknowledge those who showed extraordinary determination in the face of danger, sometimes even sacrificing their lives in an attempt to save others. However, in the whirlwind of journalism surrounding these deservedly front-page disasters and emergencies, it is easy to take for granted the heroes who sacrifice immeasurable life and labor in their day-to-day lives for the good of others, but do so in a somewhat less spectacular setting. The Mexican immigrant worker in New York is a perfect example of the hero who has gone unnoticed. It is common for a Mexican worker in New York to work very long hours in extreme conditions for low wages which are saved at great cost and sacrifice and sent to families and communities in Mexico who rely on them to survive. The Mexican economy has quietly become dependent on the money sent from workers in the United States. Conversely, the U.S. economy has quietly become dependent on the labor of Mexican immigrants. Along with the depth of their sacrifice, it is the quietness of this dependence which makes Mexican immigrant workers a subject of interest. The principal objective of this series is to pay homage to these brave and determined men and women who somehow manage, without the help of any supernatural power, to withstand extreme conditions of labor in order to help their families and communities survive and prosper. This project consists of twenty color photographs of Latino immigrants dressed in the costumes of popular American and Mexican superheroes. Each photo pictures the worker/superhero in their work environment and is accompanied by a short text including the worker’s name, their hometown, the number of years they have been working in New York, and the amount of money they send to their families each week.
Screening produced by Coïncidence.
Exhibition venue: Atelier des Forges, Parc des Ateliers, Rencontres d’Arles 2011.