Mexico City, MX


The Bureau for Transgressive Tourism and the Acquisition of its Archives Presents: VERIFICATION REQUIRED


VERIFICATION REQUIRED is a document in three parts: Part A ( 1a ), Part B ( 2 ) and Part AA ( 2b ). The presentation of a correspondence between two of our members: BTTAA member 0426 and BTTAA member 0820.


Part A ( 1a ) is a series of ( hand written ) letters between the two members, asking each other to verify an outline of personal memories, greatly composed of names and locations, one period of time at a time. Each letter follows a strict format.


Part B ( 2 ) is a loose sequence of tourist-style photographs. While it is clear that the authors of these photographs are the same two people, the location where these photographs are taken is the main focus of the pictures. These photographs are without written information.


Part AA ( 1b ) presents photographic documentation of each location referenced in Part A ( 1a ). These photographs are void of people, yet labeled with written information.


Part A ( 1a )

A series of fifty hand written letters, two anonymous members of “The BTTAA” ( BTTAA member 0426 and BTTAA member 0820 ) ask each other to verify an outline of personal memories. Each memory is greatly composed of names and locations and outlines a single period of time in the member’s memory. All locations mentioned exist in and around New York City. The second member replies by “verifying” or editing the memory; adding, subtracting or editing names, locations and situations.

Heading each letter is the date written ( change dates? Mail takes time ), the member writing the letter and the location of which the letter was written. In the span of Part A ( 1a ) one of the member’s location stays the same ( Mexico City, MX ) while the other member’s location travels from New York City down to Austin, Texas.


The content of this lengthy document is void of emotion towards these memories. The situations are highly personal. The names mentioned repeat over and over, but without character development. Locations are stated without intimacy. The dryness of this document is employed to distract from the narrative of its content. Part A ( 1a ) is a correspondence in which two people rely on each other to validate their personal memory, exhibiting a vulnerability and co-dependence. The members rely on each other to validate their personal memories, which consist largely of people and locations, pitting intimate identity against collective identity in the form of relationships and locations.


Part B ( 2 )

The second part of the document is a series of tourist-style photographs. The format of each photo is loose, some including one of two people, but with the location of the photograph as the subject. The type of collective identity expressed in Part B ( 2 ) is very different than the sort in Part A ( 1a ). While in Part A ( 1a ), the content is thoroughly filled with names and specific locations, Part B ( 2 ) only exhibits two of the same people and a tangible disconnect between the authors and the location.

There is a stark visual difference between Part A ( 1a ) and Part B ( 2 ), but a strong throughline exists in the form of location. It is clear in Part A ( 1a ) that BTTAA Member 0426 is traveling south from NYC to visit BTTAA Member 0820 in Mexico City. While the photographs in Part B ( 2 ) are without location specificity, the content of the photographs ( in conjunction with the location specificity in Part A ) imply their location.


Part AA ( 1b )

Part AA ( 1b ) continues the medium of photography, but in a very different manner. The content of the photographs is strictly dependant on Part A ( 1a ), being that each photograph is of each location ( in and around NYC ) referenced in the first correspondence. ( Each photo includes a title, naming and concisely describing its location ( more full than in part a? zips included that weren’t remembered etc? )

The third part of this document can be seen as either a relapse or as an acceptance. It is either a ( less depraved ) confirmation of the importance / presence of communal identity in the intimate identity or proof of the inability to let go of a communal identity.