Over the last few months, I have focused on expanding my work’s formal and representative horizons with respect to the places I inhabit and frequent. In this manner, I have reencountered materials, shapes, tools and textures that, in one way or another, are intrinsic to my life and have been a part of it as far back as I can remember.
Here I use a new material in my work —concrete—, which boasts an immortality of sorts, a material that is thought of as unaffected by time and which challenges human strength. In Latin America, concrete is associated with the ideas of “modernity” and progress. It’s idealized, seen as protector and anchor for ideas, a flowing liquid that transforms into stone: a false stone that has aided in the construction of fantastical fictions and spaces denoting power. The pigments and earth transferred onto the concrete detail graphical and pictorial notes from my travels between my new home in Tepoztlán and my hometown of San Simón el Alto. Both places absorbed the institutional idea of progress in similar ways.
I use the concrete to transfer reflections of paintings through a process I discovered through experimentation with the materials. It consists in starting with a matrix drawing on a wooden support, which is then transferred to a cement cast which, when set, has captured the pigments and textures of the matrix. Pictorially speaking, it’s like a fresco, and at the same time it’s a graphic monotype.
From the start I could tell that while the transfer was an exact reflection of the initial drawing, it had somehow shifted; as it set, the piece had acquired new qualities and textures. An image of its own was born, having constructed itself through the qualities and reactions between the materials; a process of its own without my interference and which, metaphorically speaking, is like a mirror which speeds up and captures time.
The prehispanic past and the construction of a personal history based off modernity are essential themes in the structure of these paintings. In one part, there is the endemic essence of the native flora and fauna from my place of origin, mixed with fictional glyphs which remit to tequitiqui art. In another part, I question the iconographic institutional image, deliberately incrusted in the lowest social strata, creating an idealization of progress. I question the actions of power which impose strategies to change geography and appropriate it. These pieces commemorate altered and idealized spaces, from a bifid stone tongue that served as a welcome mat in a ceremonial center in my town, to gestural elements that look like cave paintings from the future.
“La fractura del reflejo” [The fracture of the reflection] is an exercise in detachment from the pieces themselves, but which leaves a tangible imprint that accelerates time, generating a graphic and pictorial memory tattooed on the surface of the concrete.
Abraham González Pacheco