Photograph of Genaro Sántiz
The Galería MUY is pleased to present a complex and fascinating exhibition by the artist Genaro Sántiz (Cruzton, Chamula; 1979) inspired by pox (also spelled posh). As is known, this locally made drink with ancient roots establishes, in itself, a sacred and healing space. (Poxil for example means medicine, even the one bought at the pharmacy.)
Genaro, with a long career in the art of photography, is also a musician, an English teacher (he spent seven years in the northern country as a migrant), an art promoter (formerly a member of MUY) and a promoter, with his wife Rie Watanabe) of culture in its new cultural center space in Las Piedracitas, San Cristóbal.
Sántiz identified pox as a subject of artistic exploration since 2005 when he published the book of this name (“Pox”) in collaboration with the Chiapas Photographic Project in the 1990s. With exquisite prints made in collaboration with Bats’i Lab now, taking up the theme 25 years later, Genaro revives the cultural-spiritual, almost magical, exploration of pox, and explores the ritualization of pox-making itself. But now his socio-artistic reflection branches off: he considers, warning of the danger of, alcoholism. It defines the territory of the pox as one of dispute, and claim of gender inequality. And it symbolizes, in the current commercialization of pox, both the increasing incursion of capitalism into native communities, and the vile appropriation of pox by globalized capitalism, especially in the new tourist economy of the Chiapas Highlands. (Pox is turning out to be the new craze after mezcal, even outside of Mexico!)
This exhibition includes music (reinforcing its sacred character) and performance in an installation, respecting the multimedia and multidimensional practice of the artist, who also always works in collaboration with his wife and family (of rich and diverse artistic talent).
We thank Genaro Sántiz for sharing in the MUY Gallery this lucid and poetic presentation of the contemporary Mayan culture of Chiapas.