1964, Mexico D.F. Lives in Mexico City.
Guzman choreographs together personal concerns such as death, hope, fear, fate; the pursuit of happiness and its fragility; the lies and far-flung lifestyles promoted by advertising and in particular a lack of emotional communication in our consumer-orientated societies. In New York Groove and Happiness, daily normality is interrupted by uncanny actions and simple micro human experiences that become all embracing.
In both videos the soundtracks play a major role, the music functioning as an agent for the characters actions. In Happiness a popular Mexican serenade sets the scene, an appropriation of arguably the first rock video, Bob Dylans Subterranean Homesick Blues. Dylans 1965 promotional film features him holding up placards of the songs lyrics. INXS 1987 video Mediate duplicated Dylans use of cue cards and similarly in Happiness three young boys run back and forth across a playing field, presenting the songs translated subtitles for yet another audience. Their playfulness is an innocent stab at the strategies of global advertising. At first the boys seem proud to perform, but gradually tire and return to their own shared form of communication football.
Shot in Mexico City, New York Groove pokes fun at the movie cliché where people start dancing and singing in the street. The ordinariness of their environment accentuates the imposed layering of the two cities, the actors gestures and those they universally deride such as petty crime, rude behaviour and disrespect. Guzman is a fan of the attitude and spirit of the song, originally by Hello and later recorded by Ace Frehley of Kiss. Partly inspired by his first exhibition in New York two years ago, this is Guzmans homage to his city, Mexico City, his teenage love of Kiss and early 1980s video.
Im back, back in the New York Groove. Feels so good tonight, who cares about tomorrow...