El Progreso Dura Para Siempre

Solo Exhibition
Galería La Superior, Mexico City
April 2021

During the month of March, 2021, US visual artist Allegra Hangen researched the origins of social housing in the Central Valley of Mexico. Liminal places that continue to question the legacy of the ideals of progress introduced during the early economic and urban development of Mexico City between the 60’s and 70’s.

Allegra Hangen uses images as archival and current documentations of both physical places as well as historical moments that are relevant in thinking about the origins of social housing during architectural Modernism in Mexico. The artist questions the relationship between Mexico and the US while reviewing the concept of suburbia, which was incorporated during the peak of architectural Modernism in Latin America in general.

El Progreso Dura Para Siempre is an exhibition that displays most of the pieces made while the artist was in residency at The Lab Program: Art-Research & Mobility Network. Most of the work made during this time was developed using the discourse of collage as a visual and conceptual tool.

For the piece “Alianza para el Progreso’’, Hangen uses databending (glitching by coding) as a narrative and visual tool that rethinks the logic of the diplomatic discourse that JFK presented during his visit to the housing project, Unidad Independencia, in 1962.

In this piece, the artist plays with the visual morphology of an archived image, questioning the narrative of historical memory and changing the visualization of this image by hacking it with code; transcribing and interweaving parts of the speech given by Kennedy into the digital image’s code.

- Valeria Montoya, The Lab Program