One day, walking home after the bakery on the corner got robbed, I saw a sign inside an inn which is also a tortilleria. The sign, made with black letters on a yellow background and enclosed with drawings of knives, grenades and guns, read: “We have everything but fear.” In times of electoral fraud, hundreds of missing people, drug trafficking, feminicides, attacks, real estate speculation, a country in flames, flames that overflow onto everything, how can we reformulate the links between art and life? I believe that even in times of terror there must be celebration, leisure, the desire to take someone’s hand and go dancing. The exhibition Tenemos todo menos miedo is an essay about play and leisure, an effort to exhume these experiences, to paint and drink them; because one month after the robbery, the bakery reopened and gave out free bread.
The recurring concern of my practice is to research the possibilities of leisure, the dichotomy of laziness-pleasure, partying and games; to create a platform of affective protest. Design and architectural elements such as barbed wire and broken glass, generally used as a form of defense and security, are combined with hammocks, fruits, plants, and other elements used for leisure. Hostility and friendliness, rejection and reception are at odds. Tenemos todo menos miedo seeks to celebrate friendship as either a place to hang out or a series of paintings that portray daily life.
For the past three years I’ve been traveling throughout Latin America, carrying out a study called La Jocosidad (jocularity); as a concept and lifestyle, as a way of getting closer to art and my surroundings. With a critical stance as well as a sense of humor, I’m interested in promoting the unity of Latin America beyond the crisis, through a real sense of empathy, understanding and reflection. I seek – in jocular terms – to vindicate coexistence in difficult times, like the ones we live in, not by being patronizing but as a gesture of resistance to a world where work, competition, consumption and perpetual growth are primarily encouraged.
– Laura Meza Orozco