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El Chinero, un cerro fantasma, paisaje, antimonumento, archivo y fotografía / El Chinero, a phantom hill, landscape, antimonument, photography and archive

El Chinero is a small mountain in the desert, 140 km south of Mexicali in the Baja California region of Mexico. Nobody knows since when it bears this name, but everyone has heard of a tragic episode that took place here in 1916. Or were there many such episodes? Nobody knows for sure. Soon after the Mexican Revolution, a massive exodus took place as the newfound state began deporting and chasing out Chinese and Asian migrants who had settled in Mexico for decades. Despite a lack of documentation about the site, it is thought that many people died here while crossing over from the mainland. Myth and identity, reality and fiction, ghosts and memory. El Chinero could somehow be seen as a monument to these deaths while not actually being one. A site of tragedy with no traces nor remnants to attest to that. How can one fill this memory void with images and artifacts in an attempt to construct an archive where none exists? The photographic and filmic gestures evoke here the notion of time, the real, archive and monument, but also dedicate themselves to go beyond observation to open a site of excavation in the presence of its ghosts.

The book presents a selection of the Bani Khoshnoudi's photographic and film works as well as her drawings and archives around the Chinese presence in Mexico. These are accompanied by an extensive essay by film historian Nicole Brenez, as well as a conversation with Ariella Aïsha Azoulay, and curatorial texts by Carlos Prieto Acevedo and David Bautista Toledo. The works collected in the book were part of two exhibitions in Mexico. at the Museo Experimtal El Eco in Mexico City in 2022 and at the IIC-Museo in Mexicali in 2023, and a film, El Chinero, un cerro fantasma (2022), made with the support of the Cnap and Atelier 105 – Light Cone.


author Bani KHOSHNOUDI
publisher EDITORIAL Ñ
contributors Ariella Aïsha AZOULAY
David Bautista TOLEDO
city and year of publication Mexico DF, 2023
binding Paperback
pages 173
languages English & Spanish
ISBN 978-607-96448-8-8