Close to the sky
To the architect the roof is a compact structure of armed concrete. To the rest of the people it is much more: it could well be a stage where the most intimate of the people dries by the four winds; it could perhaps be an extension of their homes where they store nostalgic junk of their passed. To reach the roof is like being closer to the sky, master the city with your eyes and feel unique.
It was not for granted that the photographer Edward Weston undressed his partner Tina Modotti and immortalized her on the roof of the building situated in the streets Abraham Gonzales and Atenas in the historic centre of Mexico City in the 1920s. The master Alvarez Bravo created his famous work “La Buena fama durmiendo” on top of the San Carlos Academy
It’s a perfect place to conquer love and a place that has given rise to a popular sentence: “Did you hear someone on the roof?”
This work explores a territory that to many of us inhabit a place in our childhood memories. Who will not remember the roof as a place to play hide and seek or to point out where to find the first kiss? However, today there are people who expose their art to the harsh critic of the by passers. Or use this place for their beloved mascots or homing of pigeons. On the roof, you finally share a joke, a cigarette and your dreams.
text by Ernesto Ramírez
translated from Spanish by Ulf Fågelhammar
Ernesto Ramirez Bautista was born in Mexico City, 1968 and studied journalism at UNAM Universidad Autònoma de México. He has held several lectures at the “Nacho López” School and “Centro de la Imagen”. During 15 years he worked as a photojournalist for several distinguished newspapers and magazines like La Jornada, Millenio, El Independiente, LaRevista, El Centro, Tierra Adentro, Chilango, Gatopardo(Colombia) y Eseté(España)
Ramirez has participated in several exhibitions (individual and collective). His photos have been published in twelve books.
Cerca del Cielo was awarded an Honourable Mention by the Premio Nacional de Periodismo Cultural “Fernando Benitez” in 2004. This work was also part of the largest exhibition held in China by Mexican photographers in 2007.
Another important work by Ernesto Ramirez is called “Arquelogía Urbana”. This portfolio was awarded first prize by the Premio de Periodismo Cultural “Fernando Benítez” in 2006. It reveals current Mexico City through its devastation in order to understand and reflect upon the urban ambiance.
You may visit “Cerca del Cielo" and “Arqueología Urbano” in Ernesto´s virtual gallery on ZoneZero.
photos and text © Ernesto Ramirez
Please click on the pictures to enjoy fully the marvellous view from the roofs.
invited by ulf fågelhammar