Due to climate change, the Arctic Ocean’s summer ice cover is now half of what it was 50 years ago. Because of this, many countries are looking at the Arctic with new interests. In 2007, a mini-submarine carrying Artur Chilingarov, a Russian parliamentarian and veteran explorer, descended into the ice-covered sea at the North Pole, extended its robotic arm, and planted a Russian flag on the sea floor. Méndez’s 'El Norte' is a humorous critique on the prevailing ‘15th century colonial attitude’ and in particular, its relation to the current geopolitics of the North Pole. 'El Norte'—the futile conquest of the North Pole by the artist herself—also points to the ambivalence of the Mexican migrants’ ‘dream vs. reality’ experience in their journey to the United States for a better life.
Single channel video with sound; 4 minutes, 26 seconds. Filmed at Abandoned, in Adventfjorden, in the international territory of Svalbard, near the north pole.