The Plague Exhibition
Humans and insects face to face
Plague it is a collection of precious insects. Its legs - which cause so many chills when they walk on our skin, touch us - are now made of gold and silver, thus offering another experience. An attraction.
They perch against the wall or on our hand with a very comfortable simplicity. Their forms and postures invite you to be interested. Who can admire the "design" of the mosquito, of an ant? Long pieces joined almost with a thread, projecting its sharp shadow around. The shape is fascinating.
With very finely applied colors, those who participate in the Jacobo and María Ángeles Study outline the natural richness of the bodies of these beings with pictorial languages dressed in Oaxacan tradition. The repertoire of abstractions for plots, figures and visual patterns is varied, and is fed by the life that each piece suggests.
In the applied arts of the world many cultural heritages are known that have made insects their subject. Made of gold and other metals, inlaid with precious stones, they could 'contain' if they were a kind of box, or simply 'express' values and religiosities of any place. Every ancient civilization made the images of its insects, whether they were related to divinity or - as was frequent - to plagues and pests. Rome was saved three times from invasion by flies all around it. The omens of ancient Mayan lordships relate their end to locust plagues.
Numerical excesses of insects and humans have been in battle for millennia, for territories, food, health and survival. And in our world too humanWe exploit the crops while closing the door as much as we can, so that no bugs enter the house. We fumigate - deadly word - even beyond our home, and the silent spring Rachel Carson was talking about in 1962. The idea of a world without insects is simply catastrophic.
The pieces that make up Plague in Galería Marakame they allow a different approach, always new and necessary, to our relationship with the most common insects of everyday life, from the professional hand that designs each piece that it assembles and decorates. Mexico is a megadiverse country, and that not only involves the wide variety of life that exists in the territory, but also the richness of material productions and culturally purposeful design.
Juan Carlos Jiménez Abarca
Critic and art historian