Reading time: 3 minutes
guerrero-projects, Houston, Texas, USA
June 2, 2017 – June 3, 2017
To illustrate the narrative, Gwladys Alonzo projects the viewer to the heart of a drunkenness in Mexico. The structure of the exhibition unites recollections of the past like long immersions in the Mexican countryside, the work reminiscent of her voyages by train from Monterrey to Los Mochis, to those months spent in Oaxaca on the Pacific coast together and then with nights spent meandering through the streets of Mexico City. She alternates between points of views, cyclical references, parallel narratives, the juxtaposition and confusion between real actions and imagined ones. All of this together creates, in the spectator, a largely contemplative state, even slightly squiffy.
“The odors, the heat, the dust of Mexico, the weight of the climate. It can beat you. The immensity of the mountains, the density of nature, of the greenery. And especially Oaxaca, where the height of the mountains is impressive. But in the North, I felt a much deeper emotion: a gulf of an immensity of hollowness -an emptiness. The landscape is so vast, and there you are in the middle of it all, alone, and it swallows you, it encompasses you. Mexico is savage and animal -intense like you could lose control in an instance.” – Gwladys Alonzo
The artist captures a moment, memorizes something temporary, and gives form to the landscape. Aquí is a hybrid piece, giving the illusion of construction, letting one believe the piece is still in progress, that nothing is set, and at any one moment she could continue to work on its evolution. Incidentally, Gwladys Alonzo’s technique and work puts forth the relationship between an art form and construction materials, inspired by recent architecture and older concrete houses.
She was inspired by the town of Guadalajara for Simulacre, a piece where the highlight is a rock found in the streets of the village. Alonzo tirelessly carried this stone with her that day to her studio, where she then covered the elongated piece with sheets of concrete, with the raw side leaving the form to evoke the framework of the city, while the painted white side represents the paint used on the houses in the village.
Following her travels north of Guadalajara just north of Jalisco, Alonzo arose the question of the surface of the earth and the texture and colors of the desert. The artist changes course and sets on a quest of insatiable mystique and hallucinations. Extrait focuses and evokes the idea of worship: a Guadalupe that shines bright with spirit or a temple in ruins at the top of a mountain.
Then the immensity of Mexico for Alonzo turned into a more disturbing feeling. “In Oaxaca, the tone was less serene and calm. I felt the need to put things on a more human scale: that of my body. I had at first a euphoria in regards to the spaces, but in Oaxaca, I no longer felt peace. I felt the terror connected to the spaces. Some moments, you feel the world affects you, and others you feel that it’s you who affects the world. I chose to control and adapt it.”
It is because of this that the artist captures the ground as an enveloping surface, a skin, a protective layer. “…it’s a history of surface and contact. My skin is the separation between the world and my body, as the surface of the floor divides the air from what is underneath,” says Alonzo and for Hueco she first sculpted the surface of a volcano.
Finally, Alonzo applied herself with force and carnality into this burning Mexican substance. But little by little, the monumental scale of her first pieces narrowed. The volcano can now be held in her hands, as if with time she calmly masters the material.
– Anissa Touati