The fifth, sixth and seventh days were spent editing the English audio guide text.
I also spent a long time reading through the archival material I had selected as being relevant to my research interests.
On the sixth day I met Emma Viggiano who will be the new Director of the Museo in Xilitla (building work should be completed by the end of the year). She told me about her plans for the Museo and also about her research at West Dean in Sussex, England, where Edward James* lived. We also discussed the Edward Jame’s garden and the logistics of visiting Xilitla and Las Pozas.
In the early of afternoon 7th day Antonio and I went to meet Francesco Pedraglio at San Luis Potosí airport. We discussed the BA university student’s presentations and also Francesco’s new artwork for the Museo.
*Edward James was a British poet and a patron of the Surrealists. He was a major collect of Leonra Carrington’s work. In the 1960s he auctioned off his entire collection to pay for his sculpture garden in Las Pozas, Mexico.
In the morning of the fourth day I completed and published the Spotify playlist for the Museo Leonora Carrington.
In the afternoon Antonio and I went to explore the city centre. He took me round all the main tourist sites and pointed out things of cultural interest.
We visited the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de San Luis Potosí where I met the Director Aldo Arellano Paredes who was extremely welcoming. We talked about my practice, visit and research. I discovered that he had just taken over the role as Director and his first show was a group exhibition of the Museo’s collection. He explained that each artist who had exhibited there had been invited to donate a work to the Museo and this exhibition was a result of this. The Museo space was very large and impressive with a huge roof terrace. It was a typical white cube space although for this exhibition some of the walls had been painted in very dark colours. According to Antonio this is Aldo’s curating style which I thought lent itself well to works on display.
My third day was spent documenting the Museo, looking at the collection in more detail but also the building. I also began thinking about the Spotify playlist and what I would like to include in it. I didn’t want it to be completely literal and tried to think what music might enhance the visitor’s experience of the building but also the works on display.
In the afternoon I began searching the library and archive for texts which I thought might be relevant for my research. I also watched a few videos of Carrington being interviewed. On the hard drive were also some photographs of Carrington’s home/studio which had been taken after she died.
That evening the Museo had a late night opening, this opening was extremely well attended – it sold out. All the staff were extremely happy with the response of the public. Towards the end of the evening I was introduced to the Director of the Laura Elena González Sánchez who was extremely welcoming.
On my second day Antonio and I sat down and made a plan for my stay, which days I would visit the university, when I would make a public presentation of my work, visit to Xilitla and Mexico City.
We ran through the format for the student presentations mimicking the style that I experienced on my BA at Goldsmiths. We agreed that three students would be enough for time allocated to us.
Additionally we discussed my presentation, how he would introduce my work and how long I would speak for and what works I would show.
Antonio told me he had invited Francesco Pedraglio, an artist based in London to make a new work for the Museo and that he would be visiting the following week to have a meeting with him about his upcoming exhibition. He also suggested that Francesco joined in with the presentations of the students as he wanted him to do a workshop with them during his exhibition.
Antonio asked if I would like to curate a Spotify playlist for the Museo Leonora Carrington that reflected my experience of the Museo and also Carrington’s work. I was excited by this idea as music does play a significant part when I am developing new ideas and writing.
The Museo are also developing an audio guide that would be available in Spanish and English. They had translated it but wondered if I minded having a look and seeing if anything needed to be edited or changed. I agreed and thought it would be helpful for my own research to gain a better understanding of Carrington’s work.
My first day at the Museo Leonora Carrington de San Luis Potosí I met the Director Antonio Garcia Acosta where he gave me a tour of the Museo and the Centro de las Artes.
The Museo and Centro de las Artes are situated in a former prison completed in 1904. It is an impressive space with the Centro de las Artes boasting an art school, theatre, library, music rooms, dance studios and exhibition spaces. It is located in the centre of the city – although the Museo and Centro entrance faces the Juárez borough, the back is situated on Julian Carrillo borough. Antonio told me that he wants to try and engage people from the Julian Carrillo borough as normally they would not come visit this particular institution or may have had family who were incarcerated here. He hoped that during my time in San Luis Potosí we could discuss various future possibilities to try and engage with this particular community.
The Museo Leonora Carrington is situated in one of the of the sections of the former prison. It holds a large number of small and medium sized bronze sculptures made by Carrington during her lifetime. These sculptures were created by her when she was no longer able to paint. The Museo also has a small number of sketches by her and some smaller jewelled sculptures. Additionally her son Pablo Weisz-Carrington has a permanent exhibition space in the Museo showing a number of his sculptures and drawings. Housed within the Museo is a growing library which will is open up to the public and resident artists. The Museo is also planning a number of educational activities that hoped to engage with more local residents who live directly behind the building.
In the courtyard spaces are four incredibly large Carrington sculptures that prove extremely popular with visitors stopping to take selfies or children interacting and imitating their poses!
Later on in the afternoon I was shown the library where all the archival materials had been gathered thus far. Additionally there was a hard drive with more transcripts of interviews, videos and images.