A city cannot escape itself


Jose-Luis Moctezuma considers the layers of history in Mexico City @ Hydra Magazine.
Faces in the crowd; in the metro, faces. Faces on the bus; through the bus window, faces. Outside, faces. Inside, portraits. Of the General & the Dictator, of the Emperor & his beloved Carlota, of the poet-king of Texcoco and the Tlatoani, of the Neo-Marxists & the Republicans, of the Zapotecs & the Zapatistas, of the shoe-shiners and the narcotraficantes, of the trafficking cars and the bones of the indigent beneath the blind wheels of the cars. Of a striking worker, assassinated, his face streaked with blood and his eyes in pools on the ground. Such are the fates of beastly loves. The public women and the sculptors of addictions, the drunkards, the tequileros de primera, the gamblers, the pickpockets, the stock-holders, the politicos, the assassins, the priests, the telecommunication titans, the federales, the mestizos and mystics, the carnivores and criollos, the quick-tongued chilangos and the sagging pelados – these, their beastly loves, in a city of palaces. In the Museum of Anthropology the faces of ancient patriarchs, young hustlers, of miniature women and capacious grandmothers, of smiling children and the serious-faced children of men, these countless specimens of innumerable facial types fanning out in a color spectrum, change gradually into skulls. The skulls all look the same, regardless of the face that once was there. For when the face vanishes, the inescapable fact of the flesh remains, bone-white, ineradicable. Beyond the gate, digitized skulls whisper into your ear, bienvenido a México.read more