Justy Phillips

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all of this, 2013

In Mexico, exquisite hand-painted lettering adorns shop fronts and street corners in every urban centre. Employed by local businesses and political parties, these painters known as ‘Rotolistas’ provide high-impact graphic advertising and political sloganeering across the country. As the desire for computer generated, laser-cut vinyl lettering grows, it’s getting harder and harder to find an expert rotolista in your neighbourhood. I start looking for a site.

I am waiting in a small hardware store in a working class neighbourhood of Morelia. Juvenal Diaz, the store-owner’s husband and expert rotolista  arrives an hour later after collecting his young son from football training. I negotiate a price and write the address on a page from my diary. We will meet there at 9am tomorrow morning. And then we will lay it down.

Tick tock tick tock. I am trying to regulate my heartbeat with the alarm clock. And then the cathedral bell. Lying perfectly still, paralysed that I will die here in this room. And then I think it’s silly. Because all of this may never come true.

Enrique, Jesus’ father-in-law, is sick of cleaning graffiti from the front wall of his home. Every wall in the street is tagged by kids and then smothered by irate neighbours with odd fitting paint. I commission Juvenal to paint my words on Enrique’s wall. On one side of the gate he writes my words in Spanish, and on the other, in English. I am invited into the house for tamales, which is when I see the vinyl billboard depicting a picture-perfect desert island taped to the inside of the gate. And I wonder what Enrique will make of his wall.

1 all of this, 2013. Single channel video 07:17min.
2 all of this, 2013. Production still.
3 all of this, 2013. Production still.
4 all of this, 2013. Production still.

© Justy Phillips 2013

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