Mar 5, 2017


The climate of hate growing in the U.S. seems to have its exact opposite here in San Cristobal de las Casas. Walking the streets, whether in centro or in the neighborhoods, most people greet and are greeted with a smile, if not a buenos dias, tardes or noches. This is not because they feel the need to be friendly, it's just the tradition they're used to, much the same as in San Miguel or any other city in Mexico. 

I arrived here a couple of weeks ago to install my latest huipil exhibition, CUENTOS COSIDOS. For non-Spanish speakers, it roughly translates to Stitched Tales. Most every piece in the exhibition has a tale to tell, a story to share. I share them gladly and hopefully with the people here, extending a hand of peace, tolerance and justice. I feel it's one small thing I can do as an "white-faced gringa from el norte." In reality, it's the same work I've been doing since the huipil series began in 2003. The works in CUENTOS COSIDOS span the years 2008 - 2017. 
El Tendedero, the clothesline works from 2009, still here to
represent women whose voices and/or lives were negated. 

There isn't a single piece that addresses "grab 'em by the pussy" or "they're not sending their best".... just two of the infamous phrases that represent the new Hater in Chief. And I say the rather than our, because he does not represent me. Actually, we all know that it isn't only this new regime at fault. The U.S. has consistently created, fed and supported dictators privately, while condemning them publicly. But until now, never within our own country. 

So, this self-proclaimed art ambassador, (me) spreader of truth and beauty, with magic sprinkles in my pocket and a smile on my face, is here to gather tales, stitch them again and again, weave them together with the threads of color, joy and tolerance and love. 

Installation detail of Detrás de la Etiqueta
Detrás de la Etiqueta / Behind the Label, 2013


Nizz said...

Go, gringa! Represent those of us who cringe, rage, cry, and shake at the ravings of the mad man who is now in power. You represent us well and I am so proud that you are doing your art, showing your truth. You SEE and anyone who sees your art knows that you do. You see the cultural, individual threads that create our unique shapes. You see the beautiful, painful threads that give us our texture. You see the universal shared threads and fibers that weave us together and fray us apart. I am sad I am so far away from your show. Best best wishes that it reaches many souls.

Lena Bartula - Contemporary Huipils said...

Gracias, dear one. we are witnessing our world unravel like so much yarn in the paws of a mad kitten. and still we persist. :-)