Foto Museo Cuatro Caminos Interaction between Art and quotidian life | The Plan
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Foto Museo Cuatro Caminos Interaction between Art and quotidian life

Taller | Mauricio Rocha + Gabriela Carrillo |

Cuatro Caminos is a vibrant urban center on the western boundary of Mexico City. Named for the intersection of routes on this site in Pre-Colombian times, Cuatro Caminos (Four Paths) is an intensification of the myriad forces at play in the vast Mexican capital, rather than any traditional civic form in itself. Today, in addition to its bustling commercial facilities, it is also the terminus of Line 2 of Mexico City’s metro system. The urban morphology is complicated and in transition. The environment is loud and hot. It’s not the most obvious place to discover a new museum dedicated to photography. Funded by the Fondación Pedro Meyer, the Foto Museo seems deliberately removed from other prestigious facilities in the Mexico City cultural scene, and embedded instead in the fabric of the everyday life of contemporary Mexicans. The building doesn’t prance about or stridently beckon its presence. People hurry past without necessarily paying much attention; visitors may have to ask several times for directions. It is aesthetically discreet. Yet its discretion is also, potentially, an advantage, part of a strategy to consider art and quotidian life in harmony, with each reflecting and reinforcing the other. Search on the satellite map and the site still appears as a skinny parking lot; or, more precisely, a skinny cluster of industrial buildings temporarily used to park automobiles. Before that, the structure had been a plastic bottle factory. It has now been sensibly and sensitively refurbished by Taller | Mauricio Rocha + Gabriela Carrillo |, architects known for sober structures like the School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (2000), the San Pablo Oztotepec Market (2001) - both on the opposite fringe of Mexico City - and the School of Plastic Arts in Oaxaca (2008). Rocha is also the son of the famed Mexican photographer, Graciela Iturbide. In terms of scale, the Foto Museo lies between recent expansive commercial galleries and smaller...

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