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Living, painting, thinking... in Mexico "Historias de Pueblo"
Rosa López Calull


"Historias de Pueblo" is born in Akumal, it comes from my experience living in Ondarte Residency, July and December 2012

Neither the turquoise water, nor luxurious life, or jungle, impact my visual field as a cold, off-white and shabby bridge which crosses the Riviera Maya's highway. That bridge is the question will drive my work in Mexico.

This bridge, like many others, is used to cross, to go through…In this case the bridge makes it possible for you to move from the so-called Paradise, touristic area, to Pueblo, so-called Native's Village. As you can guess the

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accent falls in the word so-called ¹, so I figured I was impressed by thesymbolic distance that exists between the people of both sides, Mayas and foreigners, rich and poor, and of course, where was "my place". I tried to build my own bridge, a bridge that would allow me to combine both worlds and my own ambivalence.
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The first approach was to the Mayan world, its history, its culture, "Tear Maya", an attempt to catch the natural elements, earth, water, vegetation, in Mayan runes, on their calendar.

The second approach was through Delia and her stories, making her so-called ¹ portrait and sharing lots of chats, coffees and cigarettes allowed me to capture the actual history of the Maya civilization, not dead at all, but silent and permanently alive. While painting, I aligned myself with the triumphant Delia, the survivor to any kind of hardship.

And finally I dared to cross the actual bridge, which appealed to me as much as repelled me because it came into play my imaginary about the unknown Mexico and it took me away from comfortable beaches. I settled on the street, the canvas was holding by a palm trunk and another supporting my bones, a little shade protecting me from the scorching sun and just two feet to move my body, kids around me and decadent fruit to be painted ... The first day I woke silent curiosity on people, as the days passed it was one more unnoticed worker: they're selling fruit, washing clothes, buying and talking ... and I was painting, I had created my post, my place and Art was part of Akumal Pueblo' scene everyday.

Some people will think it was a simple and quiet artistic intervention, without any inducement, but let me disagree. On the one hand it is interesting to create an art scene, not in the canvas itself, but an art scene in a place where Art just has no place; and secondly, by the approach of the people and children, the act of painting is demystified, the canvas still retains some fingerprints it, and last but not least, the fact most important I woke up a few questions: "How is it that this gachupina² comes every day cycling, under the mighty sun to paint those rotten fruits? What will these special fruits have in particular? Does she think they are beautiful? I see them every day and I'm not able to say anything about them... "

We decided to present my work at the same place, I hung the made canvases like if I was hanging out the washing in front of the fruit store, we put some chairs in the middle of the street and I gave a Spanish talk. Interestingly half of seating people did not understand my language, and those who could understand it stood or listened to me from the balconies of their houses. I think the image of that show, a pioneer in the sense that there are not exhibitions and lectures on the streets of town, is the result of my work there, much more significant than any of the made paintings.

¹ It's a play on words in Spanish

So-called = Supuesto
His, her place = Su puesto

² Word that Mexicans use to name Spanish people

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Rosa Calull Akumal Mexico
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