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Límulus

PASSING BY. Photographs by Ernesto Méndez

Text by Mar Gámiz
Photos of Ernesto Méndez

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Mexico City is one of the ten largest cities in the world, one of the most overcrowded and polluted. As the administrative center of the nation, the population flow exceeds the already humongous number of people; therefore the city is subject to the need for continuous transport, hence the fact that on the streets one can not only find a wide range of existing cars, but also of peseros (minibuses), metrobuses, trucks, taxis and trolleybuses; moreover, underneath all this, running through the bowels of the megacity, one can find the subway.

Time, as in any other gigantic city, is for the majority the most precious thing, followed immediately by space.

In the series of photographs here presented, Ernesto Méndez has captured the moment in which time, space and movement converge to give the passerby moments of internalization, reflection and rest; or at times, moments when desperation is exacerbated, on one hand, and joy, on the other.

Through the hot glass windows of peseros* rests the gaze, which more than capturing images found on the way, it’s directed towards the center of memories. Or maybe it has been the rain that with its steady drumbeat has lulled the passenger to sleep, making the cold window his pillow. Ernesto’s lens is attentive to the interaction of looks and postures of those accompanying him on his daily journey.

It captures also, those who seem to have a hundred horses running inside, which are contained only by the sliding doors of the subway; and those who would want to surpass the limit imposed by the dimensions of the vehicle to get hold of an outsider.

Between blacks, whites and unsaturated colors, just a few sensations come to our way, experienced only due to the conditions imposed by the combination of space, time and movement of the public transport on transit routes from one activity to another, between work and home.

Ernesto Méndez offers in this series an example of the “hinge-spaces” that the City dwellers find when they interact, perhaps unconsciously, with the doors and windows of their daily walk.

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* A pesero is a form of public transport, most commonly seen in Mexico City. Its name derives from the fact that in the beginning of this form of transport a flat fee of one peso was charged per ride (hence the name "pesero" which could be interpreted as "peso collector"). (Wikipedia. Retrieved September 11, 2015, From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pesero)

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