El Salado is an ongoing documentary project that explores the biggest flea market in Mexico City. It began over 40 years ago and every Wednesday it is built through the streets of the Solidaridad and Nezahualcóyotl neighborhoods on the east side of Mexico City. This market is a continuation of the ancient Aztec markets, known as “tianguis,” or “mobile market” in Spanish. This project explores the social problems and realities of the lowest social classes in the city.
In this endless market, one finds piles of “paca” (second-hand) clothes, antiques, books, watches, perfumes, tennis, brand new clothes, auto parts and cell phones, and junk and trash. Each time I go here and walk around these objects I’m filled with nostalgia, but I’m also motivated to address the problem of the modern world, its consumerism, and the irrational excesses of capitalism.
The mistakes and errors that occurred on these rolls of film during the development process are the beginning of an experimentation process: the medium itself represents the decline and strangeness of the objects found in this place. The degradation of the film itself represents the overproduction of capitalist rhythms that manifest themselves in the material construction of this tianguis where trash is sold. The medium is a representation of the decadence and strangeness of the objects found in this place, as well as the errors of overproduction in the capitalist system.