I remembered a town that was always rainy, where crocodiles hid in the shadows and where the ruins of shattered homes guarded the sea. I couldn't remember the streets clearly. I couldn't remember the sea and the river as two separate bodies of water. And yet, I hoped this place could be found.




































We asked around and people told us that the whole town of Tecolutla exists in between the sea and a river. We went to the river and found the fishermen. Somehow, my memory had conflated the sea and the river into a single body of water. And yet, in the drawing, this division was represented, the fishermen were on one side and the sea was on the other. There is a natural dividing line in the drawing that occurred because Omar couldn´t fit both scenes in the same composition, since in my memory I couldn´t bring these two scenes together. That same line is the line that divides the sea from the river in the actual place. Also, the town is only a few blocks wide and lies between two bodies of water.  All of these elements were represented in the drawing without me understanding that they related to the real construction of the town. The exercise of putting the memory to paper, the questions that Omar formulated and the dialogue generated were truly an anamnesis where I found I remembered more things than I actually was aware of. And yet, we were unable to find the houses in ruins and the small-town ambience that was represented in the drawing. We decided to go further down the coast to scout for that place.



The scouting trip was not only an opportunity to scout for locations to shoot; it was in a way a method for remembering as well. With every highway that we crossed, every hotel that we saw, every street we walked and every small tourist attraction we visited, buried memories started appearing which had been absent for at least twenty years. I remembered the aquarium, the large pejelagartos sleeping in buckets, the crocodile statues that populate the town.

Within my original text, there was a vague memory of color, light and motion that seemed to me like a fair or a theme park – and yet, I couldn´t pin down what was happening exactly. On the last day of our stay, we discovered that every week there is a carnival dedicated to St. Bartholomew, the patron of the town. The whole town is filled with lights, colors, flowers and music. It was at that moment that the vague memory acquired gravity and became solidified in my conscience. It may sound pretty obvious, but a scouting trip can also be a technique for remembering: since sometimes the body remembers a space better than the mind, getting lost in a place that the body knows and the mind has forgotten is an experience where, with every footstep, a piece of lost time is exhumed.


Weeks later, when I returned to this place with my whole crew, our assigned driver fell asleep twice on the same highway while all the others were also sleeping. Somehow I find it beautiful that falling asleep was the only way to get to this place that only existed in my memory. On both occasions, I was the only one awake and the only one able to find the spot. Having found the different locations for the scenes, I decided that in order to reconstruct the place that existed in my memory we would create a montage of the different spots.

continue to: Casting a memory