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Casa Europa Exhibit Seeks to Document, Transcend Violent Events


By Viridiana Gutiérrez Tejeda

Casa Europa opens the exhibition Crossing Boundaries, featuring artists Erica Daborn and Donnie Simeone next week.

The exhibition is about our role and responsibility for the better good of our society and the future of the world.

Daborn’s The Interplay series is being exhibited for the first time in México. In it, she selected specific photographs of primarily violent events of the ’40s and ’50s, making them a visual document, a record of a given event and its narrative implications.

Each photograph is transformed by drawing and using inks to cover almost the entire surface. It exposes details, traits, motives, and gestures of the original image that now serves as a background for something completely different.

With this conscious action of covering, discovering, and creating something new, Daborn shows the possibility of creating breaks about the nature of the images, and at the same time invites us to understand how these same breaks occur in our own way of observing and understanding the world.

Donnie Simeone is presenting her series Las fresas de Juárez, an homage to the killing of women in Ciudad Juárez. Through the symbolic use of strawberries as a representation of the female body—its blood, and carnality, its fragility and vulnerability, but also its life-giving and imminent nature—Simeone works with the expressive possibilities of painting to generate an atmosphere of voluptuousness and sensuality. Yet the images also carry a violent undertone. Her paintings create a highly sensitive landscape that captivates, that seduces.

From the 1990s, the manifold and devastating news about murders the young women workers of the Juárez maquilas (textile factories), filled the media in México and the world. The heartrending stories of mothers searching for and identifying their daughters in the middle of the desert left an image imbued in the collective memory. There were more than 1,775 cases in 25 years with outrageous impunity. No one has ever been convicted of these murders. The authorities and investigations have given neither answers nor results, leaving justice as a great absence for thousands of shattered families.

Simeone bravely gives visibility and a voice to all those murdered women in this fateful scenario. Through her paintings, in an attempt to redeem and recognize their brief existence in this world, she gives them the possibility to transcend abjection and murder, to heal their wounds and reincarnate in beauty. Where the marginalization, the poverty, the submission, the silence, and the death vanish, so can they finally find a space of peace for their final rest. In Simeone’s words, art has no boundaries, making it the place where we can coexist in another way, in which we can be truly free.

The opening reception is on Thursday, December 13, at 7pm at Casa Europa.

Art Exhibition

Crossing Boundaries

Work by Erica Daborn and Donnie Simeone

Thu, Dec 13, 7pm

Casa Europa

San Francisco 23, Centro


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