Everything Depends on Everyone

Eduardo Terrazas | 4.1, 1975 | Serie 4: Crecimiento Orgánico (Organic Growth) | FEMSA Collection

In 1975, at a meeting of the Club of Rome in Guanajuato, Terrazas presented his publishing project Códice. Solidaridad para la Paz y el Desarrollo (Solidarity for Peace and Development Codex). This document features an original graphic design that interprets the concerns of this international and independent civil association, regarding the limits of industrial development in relation to natural resources and environmental impact. In this document, Terrazas introduces ideas from the Austrian theologian and philosopher Ivan Illich, who settled in Mexico in the early 1960s. Terrazas met him in 1966, establishing a close relationship that lasted until Illich’s death. Illich was a tireless critic of the Western ideology of industrial progress and its culture of consumption as a source of well-being. He advocated for these development structures to be abandoned and for alternative possibilities to be considered. In fact, Illich’s thinking is characterized by this questioning of “idolatrous” structures and systems and by defending an imagination that seeks possibilities and changes. This position resonates throughout the artist’s body of work.

On that same occasion, Terrazas presented two works reflecting on possibilities related to industrial development: Crecimiento exponencial (Exponential Growth) and Crecimiento orgánico (Organic Growth). Both are composed of 16 paintings and present cumulative systems. Exponential Growth represents the prevailing model of industrial development, where the sum of linear sequences results in a black monochrome, reflecting upon the unsustainability of this type of growth. In contrast, Organic Growth opts for a system based on diversification through color. The different chromatic divisions indicate another intensity of growth and demonstrate the multiple possibilities it can generate. According to Terrazas, based on his 1975 Codex, this type of growth depends on actions that involve solidarity and cooperation, key issues in Illich’s humanistic thought. Organic Growth is an approach that seeks and invites us to “imagine a society where industrial organization is balanced and complemented by different modes of production.” (Illich)

Considering the issues of the present, Terrazas configured Exponential Growth as a video installation in 2015. It consists of a regular space with a projection wall and the rest covered with mirrors. The projection is an animation in which lines are traced following the serial logic of the 1975 piece, flooding the interior with the multiplication of its reflection. The accumulation of black lines cancels out any hint of light.

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