De perro a dios (From dog to god) | Newspaper El Sol de México, Mexico City | November, 2011
I decided to intervene a newspaper with a photographic sequence that posed a temporality parallel to the newspaper (which I consider a form of public space). A parallel world in a parallel time, hidden in stealth. Distributing stealth. Distributing stealth is not the same as distributing silence. Stealth exists as a tactic, as a tool to hide words and things. What message would we hide in this stealth? I thought of something coming from soldiers, moved by an almost casual conversation with one of them –a strange, yet revealing conversation-. The idea of a soldier as a tool of power is a widespread idea. I was interested in the capacity of the soldier to separate from that condition, assume himself as an individual and come together as an accomplice. I met a soldier whose name I can’t confess, for reasons we share as a society. After some time, he decided to debate with me and, a couple days later, to join forces for this project. The lips of this soldier pronounce a phrase they say at the end of military training in Mexico: “Remember, dog, you are nothing and in god you will become”. This phrase was popularized in the Mexican army because it was related to the graduation ritual of the “gafes” (elite Mexican soldiers). Some deserters of this elite groups were the founders of the Zetas drug cartel.
Gafes are not identified by government by this name but according to their assigned zone (i.e. Z-1 for Mexico City, Z-13 for Acapulco). “Z” means zone; los Zetas “the zones”. I recorded a video of the soldier saying this graduation phrase and then divided it in frames (stills). Those where we could see a phoneme were selected. The phrase spoken by the soldier has 23 phonemes, that makes a total of 23 photographs published on a national newspaper: El Sol de México.