The Factory of Dreams

The Factory of Dreams

Inside Televisa Studios

By Stefan Ruiz (Photographer); Pablo Helguera (Essay by)

Aperture, Hardcover, 9781597112017, 176pp.

Publication Date: July 31, 2012

Over the past six years, Stefan Ruiz (born 1966) has gained special access to Mexico's Televisa studios, known as "The Factory of Dreams," where nearly 50,000 hours-worth of telenovelas (soap operas) are produced and exported annually to more than 100 countries. These intriguing tales of revenge, love, money and despair are one of Mexico's largest exports, popular throughout Latin America as well as in Africa, Asia and Europe. Former Televisa stars turned Hollywood favorites include Salma Hayek and Gael Garcia Bernal. Rogelio Guerra, who starred in "Los Ricos Tambien Lloran" ("The Rich Also Cry")--a show whose finale was watched by 70 percent of the population of Russia--once delivered the Russian New Year's presidential address when Boris Yeltsin fell ill. Stefan Ruiz's photographs of the factory and its people reveal a behind-the-scenes look at this special place with humor and affection. Ruiz's photographs reveal a secret world of elaborate and surreal studio sets, and include portraits of the television stars in character and students being groomed for future celebrity at the Televisa "soap school." This is the world of beautiful women, handsome men and rags-to-riches Cinderella stories, which reveal the underlying fantasies of social aspiration, as well as entrenched racial hierarchies. Accompanying Ruiz's pictures are informative texts, plot summaries and bits of dialogue that illuminate both the factory and the dreams behind this fascinating cultural phenomenon.

About the Author
Born in San Francisco, of Mexican/Italian descent, Ruiz studied art in California and Venice. In 1990, after documenting Islam's influence on traditional West African art, and with a scholarship from The Color Purple Foundation, Ruiz turned to photography. He now works regularly for publications around the world including Rolling Stone and the New York Times Magazine.