En busca del nivel del lago (Looking for lake level)

1999

Site-specific installation of recuperated and refilled plastic bottles re-levelling sinking floor , Room approximately 8 x 8 m

Site-specific installation for Ex Teresa Arte Actual, Mexico City. In the sunken end of the building, I created a reminder of the lake that used to exist on the city's site, making a level expanse of water by stacking thousands of refilled plastic bottles recuperated from the neighbourhood.

The piece unites current conditions of Mexico City with the physical characteristics of the space itself and, through these, the city's history. Many buildings in Mexico City, including the 17th-century church which now houses Ex Teresa, are slowly sinking into the earth, almost as though they were seeking the lake that used to exist in the area, which was filled in through development. The floor of the chapel inclines steeply, even disorientingly, down towards the altar. At the same time, the streets of the city are littered with plastic water bottles, a measure of the flow of people passing through them. Carried by everyone, these bottles signal a residual sort of community, founded in the most basic of needs. They are small reminders of that which no longer exists in the area (fresh drinking water), and thus stand as modest representations of everyday desires — another kind of longing for the former lake.

Realized with the assistance of Carlos Aranda, Galia Eibenschutz, Rita Jiménez Pons, Claudia Fernández, Mayra Silva, Iris Nava, Rocío Ortega Velasco, Marcela Derbez, Minerva Cuevas, Richard Moszka, Dianne Pierce, Frances Horn, Eloisa Mora, Jimena Berecochea, Antonio Mendoza, Juvenal Orozco Rodríguez, Juvenal Orozco Medina, Javier Gatica, César Gutiérrezlópez, Sofía Sainz de la Peña, and Salvador Cañas. Special thanks to Guillermo Santamarina, Director; Luis Felipe Ortega, Curator; and Laureana Toledo.  

Solo Exhibitions: Ex Teresa Arte Actual, En busca del nivel del lago, 1999.
Catalogues & Books: Laura U Marks, Germaine Koh, 2001. PDF
Reviews, Articles & Essays: Laura U Marks, Tout le temps / Every Time: Biennale de Montréal 2000, 2000. Read
Reviews, Articles & Essays: Adriana Garcia, El Universal, 20 Apr 1999. Read
Reviews, Articles & Essays: Tania Gómez, Reforma, 14 Apr 1999.

Germaine Koh, En busca del nivel del lago (Looking for lake level), 1999, site-specific installation of recuperated and refilled plastic bottles re-levelling sinking floor . Installation detail, Ex Teresa Arte Actual, Mexico City.