In the old homes of Mexico City, residences built during the second half of the nineteenth century, the brick vaulting and beams that support their roofs were covered by swaths of muslin over which white plaster from Spain was applied. These “plafones” or soffits were then painted over. In this series, de la Mora, takes fragments of these surfaces and transposes them to an exhibition space, guided by an interest in decay as it is produced by the passage of time, and an appreciation for the kind of fragility that is the product of age and gravity. De la Mora takes an almost archaeological approach, capturing the energy absorbed by these materials for more than a century, materials that have borne witness to the lives of the inhabitants of the homes, the many changes these buildings have undergone, as well as the vertiginous transformation of the city that hosts them.
The “plafones” oscillate between two Duchampian concepts: the ready-made and the recently inaugurated category of “found painting” or “peinture trouvée,” as theorized by curator Fabiola Iza, and a term that echoes the historical and artistic precedent of the “ready-made” or “objet trouvé.” As “found painting,” the “plafones” are reoriented and transformed into a landscapes of straight and crooked lines alike, cracks in accumulated layers of paint that threaten to detach themselves from their support. These dynamic layers give way, like many of de la Mora’s works, to three dimensionality and sculptural form.