Monday, April 14, 2014

Nature Bats Last - Artist Statement

I was honored to be invited by artist and director Tammy Gomez to participate in Nature Bats Last, an intermedia exhibit that embodies a critical form of environmental consciousness. If you are in the DFW area I invite you to make it out to Irving to see accessible pieces that speak of the environmental dangers we are facing as a human community. The exhibit will be up till April 24th at the Jaycee Park Center for the Arts Gallery.

My piece was entitled Mama Nature 
This one minute script features Lupe and Xochitl sitting outside watching a group of boys “play” while anticipating the arrival of Xochitl’s mother, Nature. Bearing an indigenous name translated as wild flower in the Nahuatl language, Xochitl sits on the bench with Lupe anxiously seeking guidance for her heavy heart. Xochitl’s character symbolizes a blossoming of Nature that is attempting to reconcile a heart full of guilt, shame, and perceived disconnect to her place of origin. Lupe, short for Maria Guadalupe (known by many as the mestizo hybrid representation of Tonantzin – a Native American deity that embodied the energy of the earth), plays the spiritual counter part to Nature. She narrates the present situation and councils Xochitl by offering her an alternative perspective.  Although strongly voiced, Xochitl and Lupe speak from the margins of an unnamed big brother who leads a team of “heavy hitters” and offer false promises of Lupe and Xochitl joining the game as active members. This is analogous to the ways ancient energies and heart wisdom of the earth are kept out of dominant societal discourse and likewise a statement on the colonial politics of gender, class, and race. “The brother” also proves unconcerned by Lupe’s warnings to come back into Natures house after the streetlights have come on. This male figure and his team are meant to symbolize the structures of power that have forced “mother Nature” to feel threatened and to retaliate. Yet the symbolic representation of nihilistic powers/privlage are positioned as brother and son - childlike and reckless in ways of exclusion, but still accompanied and connected to the powers of spirit, heart, and earth.