Variaciones de una cicatriz (Variations of a scar) which opened Thursday night at the Museo de Arte here in Juarez brings together the art of twenty-two women who explore a word just as often used metaphorically as physically. It is fair to say that all of us have scars of one sort or another. We either have physical scars as the result of an accident or an operation or a metaphorical scar as the result of an interaction with another person, often a person we once thought we loved.
The majority of the work in this show uses photography as a base which can then be manipulated, or added to, with writing, or collages or layers in other medium. In many cases the work is composed of a series of photographs designed to be viewed as a part of a larger whole. The idea of the show was to explore individual approaches to the indelible marks left by scars and while photography seems to be the favored medium, the approaches to the theme vary widely. Tania Anchondo shows a series of scar forms in nature-fissures cutting into the earth, long lines leaving impressions on the soft dirt. Angelica Chavez Blanco exhibits a series of round photographs on linen which show bright scar shapes composed of various colors superimposed on a female form.
In a work titled Nostalgia, Izabela Oldak features a nude woman curled in a fetal position lying in a round earthen depression.
Marilu Rios Guerrero uses straight forward photography to show images composed of earth and menstrual blood. Blood is also represented in Anakyrina Marin’s video Cicactriz number 1 El Ecuador. Galia Mirscha contributes sounds of human voices, street noises and other elements in a nine minute recording.
I left thinking that taken as a whole the show was fine and the individual pieces were very well made but that though obviously deeply felt there was something a little distanced, a little vewed from afar about much of it, but then I remembered that a scar is not the violent act, it is not the betrayal, but rather the mark from the violence; from the betrayal which the skin and the mind are unable to completely cover over. A scar is the permanent reminder seared into the body regardless of how much time has elapsed or with how much objectivity or perspective one tries to view the matter, and perhaps the seeming distance is simply a sort of necessary anesthesia.
The show is up through the whole month of October with the possibility of an extension.-david sokolec