(UN) personal history

installation at Mexic-Arte Museum for Austin Studio Tour 2022

Mery Godigna Collet is a versatile multimedia artist currently living and working in Austin TX.

In the last decade, her works have developed towards conceptual art and her narrative revolves around reflections of the confusing puzzles of the world, violence against nature and against each other, in the current context.

As well as our shared humanity, and the fine line between our personal and collective freedoms.

In her works, art crosses the borders to other disciplines as anthropology, psychology, biology, philosophy, and chemistry.

For Austin Studio Tour 2022 she takes over a window of the Mexic-Arte Museum located in Congress Avenue in an attempt to reach not only the Austin Studio Tour audience but all downtown pedestrians.

This decision itself has its own statement:
She continues to be traumatized by the Covid pandemic, when our world was limited to be lived through a window, name it windows itself or screens. She continues to be traumatized by all the lives lost to Covid and how it has changed our lives in every sense. She also notices that our value of normality exceeds that of caution. This fact also has a strong connection to one of the 2 pieces displayed in the window of Mexic-Arte Museum.

The first artwork, entitled “Sunrise”, is a big 9 by 6 feet canvas, and has 5 handkerchiefs, made of gauze fabric. These handkerchiefs are an allegory to tears of the past and those of the future if we don’t heed nature’s warnings.
These fabrics are hanging from barb wire and in the background, we can see a dark and somber landscape, full of anxiety and moments of pain.
There are also bird images on the canvas, but they appear just as a memory of birds, like extracted from the pages of some old book.

The marks of counting appear chalklike as a reminder that we don’t have much more time left to atone our actions.

This is a way for the artist to call to reflection about our attitude towards the environment. She says: “is like if we are sleep walking towards our own destruction”.

Here again, our value of normality exceeds that of caution.

Both artworks installed in the window of the MexicArte Museum convey strong messages:

The second of the art works displayed in the window, is from the series “GRAFTS”.
In this series, the artist wants to start a conversation about cultural appropriation vs. cultural appreciation and how the different cultural influences have affected what we recognize as our own culture.

Using driftwood and pebbles collected during meditative walks, she builds these “grafts” with the use of cotton thread, creating minimalist surreal sculptural amalgamations. Credible and yet magical.

This apparently simple piece is a very complex one where once again she manages synthesize all that complexity.
Our identity is formed by multiple experiences that are threaded together. Our sense of “self” is something that must be constructed.

The selection of 2 materials, wood, and pebble, also talks about dualities of conscious and unconscious, male, and female, past and present.

It also talks about the constant clashes between principles as liberty and equality, justice and mercy, impartiality and love and the search of a precarious equilibrium.

The bounding also signifies how relationships are held together and maybe a fear of separation and abandonment from the different influences that composes the “self”.

As a multiracial and multiculture individual herself, the artist confronts in this way the requirement of defining ourselves in only one category related to race, ethnicity, or sex.

Through the selection of materials, the artis is reminding us that, as a society or as individuals, we are deeply rooted to earth.

But, as society or as individuals, because of the exchanges produced by migration of people, thoughts, or culture, we are all grafts.

This Installation at the Mexic-Arte Museum has been created for Austin Studio Tour 2022 and will be on display during November 2022.