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A Small Guide to Homeownership

A Small Guide to Homeownership

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A Small Guide to Homeownership by Alejandro Cartagena

This book is an amalgamation of 13 years of work, starting with Fragmented Cities series made between 2005 and 2009 in which I documented the suburbanization of the Monterrey metro area in northern Mexico. This project began an exploration that led me to document the changes that this development brought to the city; from transportation, urban planning, infrastructure development, private and public bureaucracy, the challenges in people’s daily life to the ecological consequences of this unplanned growth.

“The narrative progressively offers us all the elements to suggest what it will mean to own an American house in Mexico. It’s a timely work started before the biggest property crisis of all time. It’s a smart way to show what’s going on starting from facts. The causes and effects of a certain approach to capitalism, and its consequences on people and the environment. A behind the scenes look at the American Dream served with Tacos’ sauce that leaves us with a bittersweet question: does all of this make sense?” Giuseppe Oliverio

“It is difficult to pinpoint A Small Guide to Homeownership’s modus operandi. The work is in the form of a journey, but one that is more of a nebula than a linear progression. As a result, we are given no answers to questions that might be raised, nor are we shown a specific way of seeing, only a topic and its many tentacles. Numerous questions circulate and compete: Are we chasing the wrong dream? Have the suburbs failed in Mexico? Are we building a ‘new’ Mexico? Not all treaties, which begin with ponderings, must end with answers. Through an information overload, Cartagena makes visible a modern crisis, and the constant anxiety that exists as its background noise. Like a conductor, he uses his images as the highs and lows, a way to both soothe and extend the perplexing feeling of a heart beating too fast, of a room made small with clutter.” Kyler Zeleny for Photo Eye

Book concept by Alejandro Cartagena
Design by Ricardo Nunes, Éanna de Fréine, Fernando Gallegos and Alejandro Cartagena
Edited by Fernando Gallegos and Alejandro Cartagena
Texts by Fernando Gallegos and Alejandro Cartagena
Prepress by The Velvet Cell
Printed in Europe
Published by The Velvet Cell
360 pp / 152 x 228 mm
Softcover, Perfect Bound
Four Colour Offset

© Alejandro Cartagena for the images
© Alejandro Cartagena and Fernando Gallegos for the texts
© Authors for archive images
© The Velvet Cell for this edition 2020

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