Jota Izquierdo: Caiwen Kellai

Private View: Saturday 10 of September 2-6 pm

 Exhibition Dates: 12 September to 1 of October 2016

Chalton Gallery is delighted to present the first solo exhibition in the UK of The Spanish Artist based in Mexico Jota Izquierdo.  This exhibition is part of Jota’s project called Capitalismo Amarillo, which is an ongoing investigation of the ways in which Capitalism operates in informal economies across different geographies.  In 2012, his installation Capitalismo Amarillo: Special Economic Zone was exhibited at Manifesta 9 in Genk, Belgium.

The exhibition Caiwen Kellai includes counterfeit clothes and related merchandise as well as a banner which fills the whole space of the gallery and two video works including; El Marco Polo de Tepito, 2012.


The circles keeps looping.
Informal Economy has avoided a real economic catastrophe in countries like Mexico, where any one can occupy the streets to sell anything from food, cloths, sweets and drinks to Junk, technology and anything that people are willing to buy. Unlike European countries where everything is highly regulated by permits and licenses, any one in Mexico has the freedom to take any available space and do what ever they want. They form their own changarro (small business) with or with out the consent of the authorities, which by the way the authorities have the benefit of a secret fee they collect daily or weekly. Finding an official authority in Mexico is difficult; what we can find is several authorities as any one takes control of a few square meters, a street a whole territory an even states. The law is on the hands of the ones who first occupy the territory or the ones who can take it by force.
At the front end street vendors take the streets and control them while on the other end corrupted customs facilitate the introductions of illegal goods to the country, other authorities open the roads and after paying the right mordida (bribe) the good from China finally arrive to its destination at the heart of Mexico City in the emblematic barrio of Tepito.
From Tepito to Mexico and the World and back again.
Tepito is the place where much of the popular culture originates and what does not originate from there is first introduced there before anywhere else in the country. There is little productions of goods in Tepito but what they have been doing at least since the early 1970’s is to travel to the economic zones of global trade and production such as Laredo, LA and New York in the US to new zones of manufacturing such as Korea and China. El Marcopolo de Tepito, 2012 show us that Tepiteños (people from Tepito) are not just passive importers bu what they also do is to order the fabrication of their own designs; mainly designs from desired brands to be fabricated as good as the ‘original’ clonar (to clone something as they say) or just to copy the design of the original but with a much inferior quality ‘piratear’.
Entertainment also comes from Tepito first. Illegal copies of movies, music, video games and other forms of entertainment come from there at a just a tiny fraction of what the original (authorized copy) would cost so these people are not just full of Marco Polos but also of Robin Hoods. They all take a share of the rich to share it with the poor.
In 2016 in Mexico a person would have to work a full day to afford to go to the cinema and another to pay for transportation and Popcorns if that person has a child then it would be 4 days of work, while by getting an illegal copy of a movie they only have to work about one hour.
Bringing clothes with the name of a brand satisfy the dreams of those ones who can only dream to wear the original and still eat. Brand names satisfy societies as on one hand they don’t even know how the original looks and feels like and on the other they do not care as they feel a sense of realization by having the name of brands attached to them.
In a country with few opportunities for higher education the possibilities of getting better paid jobs is null. In a way with Tepito every one is a winner in a country of losers of the promises of Modernism.
Looping Back
With a minimum salary of about 4 US Dollars per day many people prefer to join the informal economy where they can make at least 4 times this amount and still have opportunities of growing.
Those who innovate and work hard can succeed in getting a house, holidays and a life style that people earning the minimum wage can only dream. The problem for those 'temporal winners' is that higher income is not reflected in higher education and therefore serious liquidity problems occurred to them very often