El Sueño de Elpis: Oaxaca Art Interprets Hope

While Elpis was locked inside Pandora´s box, a miracle furrowed through her dreams: the possibility of a 360-degree turn for humanity, a change that would make the world a better place. She dreamed of the virtues that abounded back in the days when the world honored the sacred feminine ways: actual times in which life and all of its processes were in tune with Earth’s natural rhythms, the seasonal cycles, the equality of all beings — animate and inanimate, equality among genders, among the most diverse species.  When she awoke, she told men and women about her dream and the miracle started to materialize.


Artist Mauricio Cervantes‘ interpretation of Elpis’ dream is manifested through a multimedia art installation at Murguia #103 in Oaxaca’s historic district.  The exhibition will be open through Sunday, November 4, 2012.

The space is magical and inspiring. A roofless historic adobe building, living spaces undefined, texture, mood, and altars that are bed frames and yellow chairs adorned with cempasuchitl, the flowers of the dead, ubiquitous during this time of Day of the Dead in Oaxaca.  The altars are suspended, floating, reflected, rooted.


Photography workshop participant Helene Haviland and I met Mauricio in the patio of the 17th century once-splendid home hours before the official opening, when the light and shadow were perfect.  Art students were putting the finishing touches on a mural.  Curator Pablo Rico was taking a break, and Mauricio, always generous with his time, explained the meaning of the installation to us.


There is so much here that is rich for reflection.  The cracks in the mortar, the decay, the dreams of the builders, the ability to take what is a shell and reconstruct it into something magnificent, beautiful, and strong.  Even stronger.  We go to the core in this space to ask, who are we and what is our hope for humanity.


And finally, the camera often shows us what our eyes do not — the many layers of life waiting to be excavated, that we choose our altars, our prayers and the path to salvation.  The cut flowers will die, their scent will dissipate, but our dreams live on in the collective ambition to create a better, cleaner, safer world.

Day of the Dead teaches us that life is cyclical and the spirit of life regenerates.

Coming Up:  Street Photography starts January 16.  Women’s Creative Writing and Yoga Retreat starts March 8.  There is always something wonderful happening in Oaxaca to capture.


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