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Poemas de simpatía

 

Poems of Sympathy are works where I undergo the spiritual process of mourning while commemorating those who have been subject to mayhem, violence, and war. In response to such shocking and traumatic events, I forge the victims’ found remains. Through the use of references, paint, and paint skins I fabricate the individuals and clothing left behind on the day of their massacre.


As a small gesture, I entangle their remains with trinkets, flowers, and photos symbolizing the fragility of their lives and the malleability of remembrance. Covering their brown, grey, and blackened bodies with slivers of fresh cools and radiant reds; fields of color engulf the broad surface with elegance. These events have transformed into memorials that should not be forgotten.

 

Cuarenta y tres

Forty - three is referencing the 43 students that went missing in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico on September 26, 2014. Loved ones and the Mexican community are continually bombarded with theories of these student’s whereabouts and are continually unsatisfied with the government’s inactiveness at finding them. The nation as a whole is traumatized with this and similar reoccurring events, but is hopeful in receiving answers. My response to these violent events led me to make portraits of each of these 43 individuals in commemoration to each of their family’s loss. The context of this painting is saturated with the act of remembering. The idea that overtime each of these individuals’ existence will fade much like a photograph or a discarded piece of garbage. Thus each portrait represents a victim, some portraits are visible while others are treated as pieces of waste. The character of each paint skin alludes to our memory altering over time – sometimes even forgetting those who have passed away.

 

Guardar Silencio

Maintain silence was developed as a memorial for hope and combat against the endless negativity surrounding the Mexican community. Through the act of accumulation, paint was placed on the surface, covering innocent victims with flowers. The flowers signify courage, passion, innocence, and friendship. The image creates a paradise that contrasts the reality of violence and war. The act of painting became a ritual in commemoration to victims who have not been found and could not receive a proper burial.

 

Cenizas nada mas

Nothing more than ashes is essentially an allegory alluding to the violent and traumatic events that haunt Mexico. The inspiration came from a landfill in Cocula, Mexico, the presumed location of where many victims of war are dumped and burned. It is speculated that this is the final resting place of the 43 missing Iguala students as well as many others. Initially, with the image in mind, I underwent a long procedure of making portraits of many individuals who have been assassinated. Overwhelmed by the number of victims, in an act of desperation, atop the portraits, I developed a floral memorial for these individuals, and placed large amount of dry paint chunks as commemoration. Rapidly, through accumulation, skins were placed on the flowers covering the memorial. The idea that overtime each of these individuals’ existence will fade, much like a photograph or a discarded piece of garbage, came into play. Thus, each paint skin represents a victim, treated as pieces of waste. The character of each paint skin alludes to our memory altering over time – sometimes even forgetting those who have passed away.  Ultimately, the idea of mourning was hopeless in the uproar of violence.