MINING THE PUEBLO
The Bolsa works began in 2015 at 360 Xochi Quetzal residency in Jalisco, Mexico. They are informed by the living and working culture, and reflect the history of the region. I felt that my unique position as a US citizen of Mexican descent immersed in Jalisco culture helped me contribute to the project of defining this place. The United States has disavowed its shared history and culture with Mexico, Latin America, and the Caribbean. New World history is simplified, falsified, or completely ignored. Bolsas examine the energy and visual culture of Mexico as a way of participating in the decolonizing project that ends misunderstanding.
Bolsas are synthetic material bags used in construction and agriculture work. Working with Victor Parra, a Guadalajara saddle maker, the bags were sewn together and embellished with stitched leather panels sometimes including inlaid mirrors. Leather designs and working practices show world history: When horses and cattle were initially brought to Jalisco, the Marlborough Man was born. Moorish leather-working traditions were brought to Spain and the New World. The same for Mudejar (Arabic, Mudajjanun, "those permitted to remain’) style architecture seen everywhere in Jalisco. These small bright-colored domes crown buildings big and small. Colored ribbons, vernacular methods and materials including bread and chicharron refer to Mexico’s vernacular culture with its diverse past and complex and vibrant present.