having remained at its gateway for some time, two contrary emotions arose in me, fear and deseo*, fear of the dark and threatening grotto, deseo* to see if there were wondrous things inside of it,
a grotesque head and a putto de grotta, and the artifice of a stalagmite with a fountain well, and a garden diagram with a rustic work well of deseos*, product of a primitive separation, of a certain self-mutilation, induced by the very approximation of the real,
and deseos* flushed down the toilet, for the well is a vampire with schizia, and all blood is deseo*, all grass is flesh,
and the promise of deseo* and the currency of deseo*, for every promise is a debt,
and the diagram of a garden with a rustic work fountain of deseos*, and a garden, the machinery of disbelief, and the machinery that produces reality with the flux of pressured deseos*, and
*In Spanish, deseo is both desire and wish.
With a text by Paulina Ascencio Fuentes
Production coordination by Diana Mariani
Production by Panik, Óscar Garduño, Daniel Ugalde, Efren Rodríguez, Cindy’s Cents and Marco Antonio Castillo
A short documentary directed by Miguel Afif and produced by Juan Carlos Villalpando will be published
Last time anyone saw it, was in the garden of paradoxes. Its days went by among the fake ruins, a putto de grotta and the artifice of a stalagmite with a well fountain. Some say that it got lost among the bushes, some others say that earth swallowed it. What happened was that it went down to the well to look for all the unfulfilled deseos* and could not come out.
Before, when it gazed at the dark waters of the abyss, it could distinguish the coins it threw as currency of intention. More than a reflection, it found eyes that gazed back from the depths: it is at the bottom where failed promises are accumulated. And everyone knew that every time it threw a coin into the well, its deseo* was to transmute into a garden.
Now, in the bowels of earth, it gathers the coins others throw. Plop, plop, plop, the deseos* fall into the water, but they never reach the bottom. And when alien ambitions are intercepted, the machinery of disbelief is activated.
Surrounded by the eyes of deseo*, it understood that money works in an irrational way inside the well. A hundred cents don’t form a peso, or a dollar, or a euro. A hundred cents make a deseo* with a deficit of 99 cents. The exchange rate is arbitrary, and for some reason the house always loses. Every promise is a debt.
Still, it always paid the price of deseo*. The problem is that it was never clear what it wanted. More that uninterested longings, coins implied ideological tension. Investing fragments, hoping to gather wholes. “Turn Pennies into Dollars with Our Penny Machines”, an absurd promise that sustains the materialistic conception of history.
Once it stopped thinking about numbers, it started thinking in resources. Well piled, a hundred cents produce a step. And a thousand cents make a ladder. Stimulated by heaped, it could climb the walls of the well. That’s how it could invertir**, not as an economical process, but invertir** gravity.
Back to looking from top to bottom, welcome is your gaze. Now it understands Third Nature, the garden as a domesticated savage, naturally artificial. A pulsion of death suppressed while transmuting into a garden. But it doesn’t wish anymore, it just is. There are no promises, no longings, no price to pay. It is just there to be contemplated. What a grotesque landscape.
Paulina Ascencio Fuentes, April 2021
The translator decided to leave two words in its original language because of their original duality.
* Deseo in Spanish is both wish and desire.
** Invertir in Spanish both invest and invert.