San Cristóbal de Las Casas. Chiapas, México
These 20 works of art show a special spirit of wisdom with a long-term vision, very welcome in these times of pandemic panic. We are in a moment of profound reevaluation. In good time comes the opportunity to see these artistic explorations from a Mayan/Zoque perspective of an invisible virus, made visible by its impacts and now through languages that combine traditional symbols with contemporary symbols.
Using various media: painting, sculpture, video, photography. Some of the artists send us their works from their shelters in their communities (Maruch Méndez, PH Joel, Darwin Cruz, Säsäk Nichim and Abraham Gómez) and others (Antún, Saúl Kak, Juan Chawuk, xxx) from San Cristóbal where they live while maintaining close communication with their communities (even when they are restricted from visiting them). Looking at the exhibition, one feels a complex tension: indigenous artists in an urban context looking longingly at village life, and people, from and in their villages, meditatively and critically interpreting the pandemic situation.
A complete vision of the different images and the “conversation” between them emerges:
A historical discourse: epidemics, economic crises, etc. they echo in the historical narrative of the native peoples, before and since the conquest. A territorial one: indigenous autonomy enables a protective isolation and its own governance coupled with its cultural tools. A philosophical one: What is culture and what is nature? In the indigenous truth. One political: to discover the importance of community spirituality in these critical times.
Thanks to the support of friends who have become sponsors for this project, the artists began three months ago to make their artistic proposals focused on the theme of the pandemic and its general meanings. You can find out more about the artists by consulting www.galeriamuy.org. In this exhibition you will find texts – poetic and explanatory – of the works of each creator.
The work of organization and curatorship was in the hands of Martha Alejandro, Josué Gómez y John Burstein, with the valuable support of Emilienne Limón y Andrés Alcocer.
San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas y esfera virtual mexicana
may de 2020