Ultra-Red - Plaza Mariachi
  Year :   2006
  Location :   Mexico
  Worktype :   SoundWork
  Materials:   -
  Info :   Oasis Sonoro exhibit in Mexico City. Artist: Union de Vecinos Title: Plaza Mariachi Series: Transistors

  Work Details  
  The music on PLAZA MARIACHI was originally produced for the multi-channel sound installation, Oasis Sonoro (Sound Oasis), presented in the Bellas Artes Esplanade, México City from June 15 to 25, 2006. Oasis Sonoro was directed by Francisca Rivero Lake and curated by Andrew Caleya Chetty (UK), José Wolffer, and Manuel Rocha Iturbide (México). Ultra-red members Elizabeth Blaney and Leonardo Vilchis participated in the exhibition alongside Merzbow (Japan), Chris Watson (UK), Luz Maria Sánchez (Mexico), Radioqualia (New Zealand), and Maryanne Armacher (US) to name only a few of the 12 artists involved. The album investigates the soundscape of mariachi performers who gather in México City near the Bellas Artes. This distinctly Mexican tradition of mariachi musicians assembling in the town plaza looking to be hired for parties invokes the very politics of public space in the globalized metropolis. Dogged by police, the mariachis ask; Who defines public space? By what process do cultural practices slip from the sanctioned to the precarious? For Union de Vecinos, the resonances between the mariachis of Belles Artes and East Los Angeles reveal an uncanny symmetry. Thousands of miles away from México City, police regularly displace mariachi musicians gathering on street corners looking for work. This process of displacement occurs within a long narrative of Los Angeles urban planners using the image of the mariachis to market the gentrification of East Los Angeles. In this scheme, Los Angeles own Plaza Mariachi has become a site of conflicting uses of public space. The mariachi musicians themselves have become, not just troubadours of migration, but also los operativos of precarious labor. http://www.ultrared.org/