Artist: Cintia Segovia Figueroa
Exhibition: Mexico Already Changed
Media: Film, Robotics and Mixed Media
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery East
About the Artist
Cintia Segovia Figueroa was born in Mexico City and did her undergrad in communications in Mexico as well. She is currently working on her Masters in Fine Arts at CSULB’s School of Art while teaching photography. Growing up in a socially diverse environment such as Mexico City, working in the shady field of mass communications and making a transition to living in the United States have given her a great amount of emotion because of the ugly truths that lie in culturally accepted “norms”.
The art consisted of three pieces a robot, a TV playing a recording of her and a projected screen. The TV played a video of her saying offensive comments dressed in two outfits one to represent a telecaster another to represent a ignorant citizen. The robot was allowed to roam the gallery guided by front facing dual sensors designed to get un comfortably close to a person then rolls back then proceeds to ask a immigration question through a small computer speaker. The picture titled ” False Promises” is a black screen because the projection screen would be black the majority of the time while occasionally displaying quotes of Mexican presidents, while playing soft “hopeful” music in the background.
The message that was delivered by the piece was strong because it gives a visual of how real of a problem classism and racism are. The TV adresses problems in Mexican media.As i mentioned Cintia has a communications degree and she worked for one of the biggest mass media channels in Mexico. While she worked there she observed the major problems regarding classism. She noticed how much of an unfair advantage good looking light skinned people had. So much so that she notices that looks over power skills such as the ability to write and speak at a professional level, this not only puts unqualified ignorant people in control of mass media but places a “glass ceiling” on people with a darker skin complexion. The projector that was playing “cheerful music and displayed quotes of Mexican presidents was purposely made to build anticipation and would lead to the same excessively long blank black screen. This was put together to give a understanding of how Mexican citizens feel when a president gives a speech to address problems and propose their ways of fixing it. They anticipate a change but at the end of their term they are left in the same place that they started. The robot that would roam the gallery played the role of an immigration officer to give the audience a chance to get asked the questions that all immigrants are asked such as, ” Are you a Polygamist?, Are you a member of the Communist Party?”. These questions are asked when requesting permission to enter the United States and it shows that the system being used is outdated.
Synthesis / My Experience
This was a very moving piece and really made me feel glad to see that someone is doing something to change the discrimination that happens in Mexico. I have visited and i can tell you first hand that class discrimination very real and it irks me that it is something that is not addressed in Mexican politics. Too often the blame is put on the presidents and the people in power and although there is much wrong there too nothing can get done if the citizens can even work together for the better. How much money you make, the color of your skin, the clothes you wear, the dialect you speak will dictate the place you fit in society and nothing you do will change that in Mexican society. I find that displays such as this one can provide people with a glimpse into problems in the way we live and can ultimately change our view in the way that we treat each other.