You are not alone
You do not walk alone
You do not speak alone
You do not dream alone.
SERAFÍN THAAYROHYADI, La palabra sagrada.
Western thought has been impervious to its context and times. It has always been in contradiction, situating as the basis of its universe a model of Caucasian, heteronormative, male, Eurocentric individual subjectivity and forsaking the possibilities of supporting its foundation from nature, diversity and community. For Westerners, nature was a territory to be conquered, a commodity rather than a habitat; an instrument, rather than an intrinsic condition of being. The colonization of the world was justified by the idea of constructing a vision where the notion of state of nature was displaced by the notion of state of property—a model of total domination based on force, the result of an ideological imposition that ordered the destruction of anything not consistent with that way of thinking: I discover, I conquer, I distribute, I organize, I exploit, I think, therefore I am.
That vision of the world has eroded the landscape, sacrificed lives, and alienated peoples in little over five hundred years. Conflict continues when “Eurotized” society justifies its grievances, anchored as it is in a pragmatic notion of progress and prosperity for the sake of an order that regulates earth’s “savage” differences. The effects of colonization are tangible today. Migration ensues from needs created by economic models, the hegemony of the global market, and the depletion of natural resources in alienated quantities and times through the ceaseless exploitation of land and its byproducts.
This transforms the landscape into a place of constant unease in the wake of industrialization’s abuse. Mexico currently represents many of the symptoms of the crisis of western and modernizing thought. It struggles between building on its industrial promise of lessening social problems and battling for preserving the natural and cultural heritage of its ancestors, leaving behind an arid, ravaged territory full of traces of what it was or could have become, with land that breathes out the aftermath of confusion regarding different conceptions of an artificially irrational world, creating a phantasmagorical scenario.
Consistent with decolonial thought, the artist Naomi Rincón Gallardo (North Carolina, United States, 1979) has created an audiovisual narrative of this crisis through performances and musical encounters resolved as video installations, in which—through the creation of environments—she enunciates an alternate, non-linear reading of the fractures and contradictions of the order of the world. Sangre pesada (literally, heavy or thick blood) is the title of the project presented by Rincón Gallardo in Museo Experimental el Eco’s Daniel Mont Room, building a space for open reflection on the crisis of Zacatecas’ territory, which was designated since the sixteenth century as one of Mexico’s mining regions. This industrial activity continues today, leaving stories of inequality and imbalances in its cracks. Naomi Rincón Gallardo describes Sangre pesada as a mythical-critical fable that conjures up human and non-human ghosts lurking in the ruins of Zacatecas.
She refers to this exercise as a phantasmagorical conjuration of female characters—creators and destroyers at the same time—extracted from Mesoamerican worldviews and from toxic waste, accentuated in the locals’ blood and lungs. The project’s non-linear narrative splits it in six parts: Pulmones [Lungs], Profecía [Prophecy], Colibrí [Hummingbird], La dama de los dientes de cobre [The Lady with the Copper Teeth], La maldición mineral [Mineral Curse], and Sangre pesada [Heavy Blood]. These all constitute the critical substance of a colonial regime still governing and intoxicating the world.
Sangre pesada was produced and presented for the first time in the Nunca fuimos contemporáneos [We were never contemporary] FEMSA Biennial, held in the city of Zacatecas from October 26, 2018 to February 17, 2019.
Image on the top: Detail from the exhibition Sangre pesada by Naomi Rincón, performer Bárbara Lázara, 2018.