SEEDS: Works and Thoughts

Opening Reception, November 16, 2018: Revisión / Revision
7 Women in Movement / 7 Mujeres en Movimiento
Curated by Taina Traverso
Re-envisioning Sustainability, Economic Freedom and Independence for Puerto Rico
On view through January 5, 2019, Taller Boricua
Artist Talk: December 1 @ 2:30pm
"Cenizas", dedicated to my father, Freddie.
"Libro de recetas" and "Semillero", dedicated to my mother, Linda.
"Libro de recetas", dedicated to etnobotanist Maria Benedetti y "Semillero"
"Las semillas de Ana"
Inspired by Foodscapes Caribe, an agro-ecological project 
directed by Anabellie Rivera and Carlos González
"Las semillas de Ana"
Both accordion books include verses written by Anabellie Rivera
"Enredadera y colmillo"
For the past three years I have been exploring the quintessential symbol of the seed, through the creation of collages, paper crafts and poetry. 

These works, grouped under the name of SEEDS, have been inspired by Foodscapes Caribe, the agro-ecological project located in Puerto Rico, led by Anabellie Rivera and Carlos González; the remarkable research published by ethnobotanist María Benedetti; and my family’s on and off connection to the land. Thanks to all of them I have been reflecting about the value of agricultural work, and our profound – yet damaged – relationship to the land. 

Needless to say, my relationship with the amazing realm of seeds (in the literal and metaphorical sense) is not idyllic nor ideal. Below are some of the concerns and questions I have been addressing, in an attempt to understand why we relate to our source of life in such destructive ways, while we also try to honor it.
  •     How do we unlearn, rethink and embrace a new relationship to nature, without falling into the trap of objectification?
  •      Who controls the production of seeds nowadays?
  •      What to does it mean to “own land” in a United States’ colony/toxic experimental ground?
  •      What does it really take to honor our relationship to seeds, water, land, air…?
  •      How can we develop sustainable efforts under such oppressive conditions?                                                                                                          
I am not a farmer…but I use my hands to work, write and create. And this particular  process has helped me focus on the possibilities of an interdependent existence, where respect, justice and love are key standards.  

I hope that my artwork serves to honor the family and friends in Puerto Rico, who continue to struggle against countless and profound political, social and economic odds.  Also, I hope that it contributes to the ongoing conversations about the sustainability of decolonized agro-ecological movements.

*Photos by Reynaldo García Pantaleón


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