In 1936, philosopher and critic Walter Benjamin stated, “Buildings are appropriated in a twofold manner: by use and by perception – or rather, by touch and sight.” By developing habitual interactions within Mansión Magnolia—through time, movement, and the process of photographic documentation—Argote has come to understand the values inherent in this architecture, and the impact of this place on her identity and those of her ancestors.
In 2015, I went to Guadalajara, Mexico to live/stay in Mansion Magnolia, an event’s venue for weddings/ quinceaneras, inherited to my grandmother and now owned by my aunt. This house, through stories, shaped how I understood Guadalajara, from Los Angeles. This photographic series came from the process of inhabiting this once residential space, layering its past and current function, along with its stories. I thought of the many generations of women who looked like me whose lives had been contained within this space and I wanted to use the camera to layer my own body upon the surfaces.