ReFORM: La Tele
This project interrogates the line between art object and artisan product using a sculpture/piggy-bank like those sold at the San Ysidro Port of Entry border crossing as the basis for analysis. To serve as a more representative souvenir of the city of Tijuana – which manufactured more television sets than any other city in the world at the time – we worked with a plaster-artisan, or yesero, to produce a custom piggy-bank in the shape of a television.
The TV exists in its natural (plaster white) state as an art object – a minimally aesthetic sculpture that situates the city within a multi-national economic network. At the same time, the TV exists as an artisan product, as a piggy-bank like those that have been sold for decades in the Mercado de Artesanías de La Línea, which can facilitate the exploration of the popular imaginary.
The participation of vendors at the market was solicited to sell the object in its natural state, or to paint/decorate the object in whatever style they see fit. Most of the vendors who were enlisted liked the object so much, they refused to sell it and kept it, transforming the object into a gift.