This exhibition is the result of a year-long Artist’s Residency in Silver City, New Mexico, sponsored by the Town of Silver City and Western New Mexico University - WNMU.
During his year of residency (2019-2020), the artist João Galera researched and produced work about Memory and Desire, using the poem The Waste Land, by T.S. Eliot, and the book Os Sertões, by Euclydes da Cunha, as a basis for his project. With all this in mind, João explores through his art the memory of the land and the people of Grant County. He has also worked with different groups of people in the county to create a Community Art Installation.
The work in this virtual exhibition presents a portion of a show that had been planned for May at the WNMU McCray Gallery of Contemporary Art. It has been postponed until we are able to determine a new date.
Aprils, Summers, Fires and Good-nights
"April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers."
These first lines of the poem The Waste Land are the guiding thread for this path through memory and desire. What did we do? What do we want? These questions are fundamental in this moment of suspended time that we are living in. When this project began, the world was different and now all the drawings gain another meaning: this is the fascination of art. The poem of T.S. Eliot is current again.
On the other hand, Euclydes da Cunha, with his book about a group of people that wanted to build another way of living in the deserts (sertões) of Brazil (so similar to the landscape of this part of New Mexico), was the inspiration for the structure of this project: The Land, The People and The Fight.
We invite you to walk though this path of memory and desire...
The Fight - Memory and Desire
HURRY UP PLEASE ITS TIME
HURRY UP PLEASE ITS TIME
Goonight Bill. Goonight Lou. Goonight May. Goonight.
Ta ta. Goonight. Goonight.
Good night, ladies, good night, sweet ladies, good night, good night.
(The Waste Land, T.S. Eliot)
I hope all will be well. We must be patient, but I cannot choose but weep, to think they should lay him i' th' cold ground. My brother shall know of it, and so I thank you for your good counsel. Come, my coach! Good night, ladies. Good night, sweet ladies. Good night, good night.
(Hamlet, William Shakespeare)
The People - Community Art Installation
People are sometimes the most challenging subject to understand, especially given the short amount of time we have had this year in Silver City. When we arrived from São Paulo, Brazil, with our foreign view, what we perceived was a small community separated into different groups that often didn’t communicate with each other.
In a world that needs to expand communication, we decided to do a Community Art Installation to talk with different groups of people in Grant County and bring diverse community members together through this art work. The idea invites people to create an object, in clay, that is important to them, and then put all these pieces together to create a community art installation.
We had around 700 participants from very different backgrounds: Farmers Market, WNMU, Aldo Leopold School, Guadalupe Montessori School, Unitarian Universalist Church, Artisan Holiday Market, Gila River Festival, G W Stout Elementary School, Church of Good Shepherd, and more. We had many other places already scheduled when the coronavirus changed our lives.
The Community Art Installation is still in process, and we are dealing with all the transformations going on throughout the whole world. Here, we present some of the places that we worked and pieces that were made. Soon, we will add a video explaining the creative process.