Immersing Myself in Helen Escobedo’s “Total Environments”, Valentina Di Liscia, δημοσίευση στο Hyperallergic [30/12/2022]
With the exception of a single photographer, there were no other visitors in the galleries of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Monterrey (MARCO) when I arrived just 50 minutes before the official opening of Helen Escobedo’s solo exhibition. For the last year, I’ve been researching Escobedo’s legacy for my master’s thesis at Hunter College, but until this summer, I hadn’t seen a single one of her works in person — few are housed in collections in the United States. On that balmy August afternoon, I found myself alone and surrounded by over 100 of them. Maybe it was the faint tangerine light of the early dusk, streaming through one of the museum’s distinctive deep-set windows and lending the space the quiet splendor of a cathedral, but I felt like she was there with me.
Helen Escobedo: Ambientes totales (“Total Environments”), curated by Lucía Sanromán and Paloma Gómez Puente, takes its title from the Mexican artist’s credo that art should not only be seen but also inhabited and activated by people. A selection of work spanning 1969 to 2010, from drawings and collages to sculptures and models for both realized and unrealized public art projects, is anchored by four major and infrequently exhibited so-called “ephemeral” installations. One such piece is Escobedo’s “Corredor blanco (Pasaje blanco)” (1969), an immersive L-shaped pathway of white-lacquered plywood panels infinitely replicated through the placement of a mirror at one end. It was initially conceived for the second Independent Salon held in 1969 at the University Museum of Sciences and Arts (MUCA) in Mexico City, one of several institutions Escobedo helmed during her lifetime. As I traversed the maze-like environment, the alternating positive and negative elements and modulations of light and shadows produced a shifting, buzzing quality rather than a static experience of space. Its placement at the entrance of MARCO’s exhibition was like a doorway into Escobedo’s world.
Η συνέχεια εδώ.