Yunmia Duarte presents "Aprendiendo a beber agua de mar" at Aramauca, Mexico & El Patio de mi Casa, USA

Aramauca – El Patio de mi Casa, San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico – New York, USA
August 10, 2020

Across the Wall is an international exchange program that arises from the connection between Aramauca (Chiapas, Mexico) and El Patio de mi Casa (New York, USA), with the intention of using contemporary art to blur the illusory walls between both nations. Across the Wall as a project has been proposed to generate a dynamic of dialogue, holding a series of exhibitions or joint activities where artists from different regions of Mexico exhibit their work in NY and artists from NY City exhibit their work on the platform of Aramauca in Mexico. Within the framework of this program, a diversity of actions are generated that motivate conversations, readings, publication of catalogs, among others, and important ties are forged to consolidate support networks for these creators in different latitudes.

It is precisely from this dynamic of exchange that the intention to extrapolate the work that Yumnia Duarte (1988) has generated in her art for the last two years was born, from a town on the coast of Banderas Bay in Nayarit, towards the busy universe from the New York capital. Through drawings, writings, and paintings, Duarte has been recording the abstraction of physical and emotional dimensions, in order to document and recognize her experience of adaptation in a new context. Being in front of the sea became for the artist a constant exercise of observation and confrontation, which placed the notion of herself and the immensity of the landscape in front of the mirror. How to contain it without being overwhelmed? How to express it without missing something?

For this series in particular, Duarte begins to dissolve while painting with materials mixed in sea water, taking the ephemeral that she can collect on the beaches of the area; these mixtures cause seemingly random and irregular chromatic effects, through which she composes and reveals the landscape: the light, the shape of the bay, the water and its distressing dimensions.

In her reflection, Duarte asserts: “My favorite attribute of the sea is that it questions everything I know. It seems that these settings are an eternal niche full of vitality and exoticism, however, for my paintings I start from a process that seeks to de-romanticize the widely accepted perception that sea water is always beneficial and healing, using this same substance as an element that causes disturbances and irreversible changes in the work. Thus, I inquire about what is poetically finite and degradable in a landscape that is idealized as eternal and perennial”.

Another of the artist’s motivations for this series were the problems derived from tourist exploitation and the common thought that seawater is the panacea of modern life, and that life on the beach is, among many other attributes, heavenly, healing. From this point of view, Duarte invites us to play with ideas and proposes a contemplative exercise: Salt water seen as an intrinsically good element, but at the same time that it is capable of deteriorating and altering the environment.

In her paintings the subtle impermanence of all phenomena is evident, salt water is harmful and although the alteration will be imperceptible at first, with a slow advance to the naked eye, the change will continue and the final chromatic result will be known after a certain time, thus developing a structure in the composition of the work that is defined as it corrodes.

—Text by Adriana Lanni Aspiazu





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