Artist: Naomi Rincón Gallardo
Exhibition title: Opossum Resilience
Venue: Parallel Oaxaca, Mexico City
Date: July 13 – September 21, 2019
Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Parallel Oaxaca
Opossum Resilience by Naomi Rincon Gallardo is a fabulation of bastardized Mesoamerican myths, where four characters -one hill, one opossum, the lady 9 reed and one agave of multiple breasts, found in temporalities that overlap the creation of the world with the contemporary time of accumulation by dispossession. Together they summon the powers of fire and joy so that the opossum shares its tricks to play death and resuscitate among extractivist zones.
The work reflects the dispossession processes currently lived in Oaxaca’s territory, reanimating Mesoamerican fables about time and territory where the four characters – Hill, Opossum, 9 Reed (Mixtec cave deity) and Agave / Mayahuel (Moon & Pulque Goddess) create a space for conceptual intervention through performative action and popular music. Interpreting the realities caused by the extractive projects, Opossum Resilience creates an act of transmission to critically approach the deprivation of vital resources protected by traditional communities in Oaxaca, the same communities which shelter the mythical conceptions of territory as a space of communal harmony between natural resources and people.
The video reproduces the Mesoamerican cultural symbolism of the duality Mountain/cave as “sacred space” and proposes a critical theatricality where myths converge as an epistemic resistance that informs the geopolitical conflict created by the coloniality of power and capital. Seeking for an alternative discourse, the artist connects the memory of landscapes and nahuales (shape-shifting sorcerers) in the myths of creation of the elements that benefit humans, where the guardian entities are responsible for containing excessive accumulation.
Making a research through decolonial and feminist perspectives, the narrative actions propose to break into representation and give testimonies as a speculative fiction that inform us the dispossession of the land and natural resources. In this way Opossum Resilience assigns discontented values to the mythical figures, which resist the pulses of extractivism based on resilience, reminding us of the tireless work of communal activists defending their territory in the State of Oaxaca and opposing to the exploitation processes imposed by extractive policies, without consulting or benefiting the guardian communities and their territory.
The work is dedicated to Rosalinda Dionisio, an activist, community defender and lawyer from the community of San José del Progreso who has communicated the environmental, social and cultural effects left by the mining extraction project in the State of Oaxaca.
Naomi Rincón Gallardo pursues a PHD at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, Austria. She completed a master’s degree in the program in Education: Culture, Language and Identity in the Cross-sectoral-Community Arts department of Goldsmiths University in London. She is a graduate of the National School of Painting, Sculpture and Engraving “La Esmeralda”. Among her most recent individual exhibitions are Sangre Pesada, Museo Experimental el Eco (2019); The Formaldehyde Trip, Performance in Progress, at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2017); and Ocotepec Oddesy, Filmhaus Kino, in Akademie der Künste der Welt, Cologne, Germany (2014). Among collective exhibitions, the X Biennial of Nicaragua, in Managua, Nicaragua (2016); Anticolonial Fantasies, on Friday Exit, Vienna, Austria (2015); and the project Between utopia and disenchantment, in Jardín Borda, Cuernavaca, Mexico (2014). Her work understands research as a transdisciplinary practice, explores the creation of counter-worlds in neo-colonial contexts. Her main lines of research are decolonial and anti-racist feminisms, critical pedagogies, queer theories and speculative fiction.
With the support of FWF Peek Project: Dis / Possession: Post-Participatory Aesthetics and the Pedagogy of Land.
Parallel Oaxaca´s annual program supported by Foundation for Arts Initiative