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Earth Horseshoes, 2012

The art I created during my residency at the Guapamacátaro Center for Art and Ecology in Michoacán, Mexico was a collaboration with local children using found materials to explore the tension between play and labor. Guapamacátaro was probably the most rural setting I had worked in up until that point, and I was struck by the realization that the children there had meaningful chores (milking the cows, for example) that they actually enjoyed. 

Children are usually drawn to me, and it was not long before they were trailing me around in their spare hours. We played (or worked?)—I showed them how to make masks out of mud, leaves, flowers, straw, paper, plastic, bits of rusted metal and beads. They taught me how to mix adobe and which wild plants to pick for salads or for making soap. On my own, I explored the idyllic rural surroundings and collected materials for the fabrication of a special costume for Brayan, with whom I had developed an especially close bond. He became my horse and cart in a culminating public performance in which my little friends collaborated with me to create an installation of adobe horseshoes in an old horse stable. A special thank you to animator Laura Ramirez (Bogotá, Colombia) for documenting the project in her special way.