Florencia Guillén (Mexico City, 1977) is interested in historical narrative artistic bases which range from documentaries to poetry, with formal and digital aesthetic resources. She works with subjects related to water, lands and women’s history. Her work is the result of a constant research of narratives; she also works with different materials and media such as videos, sounds, drawing, texts, textiles and photography. For this individual exposition, which is a parallel exposition to Apoderarse de todos los muros, Take possession of all walls. Preliminary drafts of José Clemente Orozco framed in the Centenary of Mexican Muralism, she created a visual bridge to interact with José Clemente Orozco through women drawn on his sketches and murals.
The first series, which integrates this exposition, consists of several 16mm filmstrips, drawn with a stylograph, decomposing the following women’s drawings made by Orozco: about his mural sketches at the Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso [Old College of San Ildefonso] in Mexico City, “tres mujeres” [Three Women], 1922; “la justicia” [The Justice], 1922-1926; “las damas católicas” [Catholic Ladies], 1924; “Mujeres campesinas con arado” [Peasant Women with Ploughs], 1922-1926; “mujer de perfil, con manos levantadas en la cabeza” [Woman in Profile with Hands Raised to Her Head], 1922-1926; “la despedida” [The Farewell], 1922; and “campesino” [The Peasant], 1922-1926. About his mural sketches Omni-ciencia [Omniscience] (1925) which is located at the Casa de los Azulejos [The House of Tiles] in Mexico City: “la ciencia” [Science], 1925; and lastly, about his mural sketch La épica de la civilización americana [The Epic of American Civilization] (1932-1934) which is located at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire: “Cabeza de mujer con trenza” [Woman’s head with braids], 1925; “Cabeza de maestra” [Head of the Teacher], 1932-1934; and “Cabeza de niña” [American Girl’s Head] 1932-1934.
The second series is a video that approaches the first texts of this Jalisco’s master as well as women –such as María Teresa Fernández, María Guadalupe Flores Grajales and Ricardo Flores Magón– involved in feminist and revolutionary social battles during the twenties and the thirties in Mexico.
Victor Palacios, Chief Curator of Museo Cabañas, states: “On one hand, Florencia is inspired by the representation of women figures both in mural sketches hereof exposed and in the first fresco paintings made by Orozco at the Escuela Nacional Preparatoria [National Preparatory High School] and at the Casa de los Azulejos [The House of Tiles] in Mexico City between 1923 and 1926. On the other hand, she collects a series of revealing paragraphs about the tireless and tenacious struggle of countless feminist, anarcho-communist, and revolutionary, women in pursuit of the urgent recognition of women rights. They fought for so long that they finally could establish a gender perspective and achieve basic rights in the field of politics, labor, civic law, sex, etc. All of these within a Mexican society context which is postrevolutionary but still ultraconservative, devoid of a stagnant Porfiriato.”