Exhibition at Licenciado Gallery
Ven a mi is an idiosyncratic journey through the discoveries that Orly Anan made during her first encounter with Mexico City through various public spaces, in particular local markets. Ven a mi reflects on Faith and the contrasts between Mexico’s ancestral culture and its systematic transformation through rituals, representations, altars, fetishes, amulets, myths and popular superstitions, endowed with a powerful and huge charge of energy.
Inspired by these references to Mexican folklore, Orly took everyday objects and decontextualized them through the medium of ‘ready mades’. Her works are open to free interpretation by the viewer but the recurring theme is the young Mexican girl’s dream of finding love. The most important inspiration for the exhibition occurred in a little corridor in the Sonora Market, one of Mexico City’s most mystical and powerful places. There Orly came across “jabones de fe” (soaps of faith) and two soaps in particular: the ‘Come to me’ soap and a bar of soap with the inscription “You clean”. The Mexican woman hopes to come to the altar cleansed of sin, virgin and pure, so that once the sacrament of love is consummated, she may dedicate herself to running a clean and proper house, devoting body, soul and the rest of her days to it.
The chauvinism, quasi-slavery and subordination which many women end up facing is a far cry from the golden dream yearned for by young women looking to be protected and adored in the bosom of their home. Gold and white sandals with soles made of brushes, plaster cast fly swats. The soaps were reproduced in their exact form in resin, maintaining the original colours, and the exhibition finishes with a performance in which two young women dressed as brides incessantly grate the Come to me soaps with a cheese grater, spilling the pieces of soap onto the floor and their own clothes, filling the space with the sweet smell of recently cut soap and giving to the resin artwork a life of its own.
The action of psychomagic is realized by actresses hanging from a balcony overlooking the street in a permanent state of introspection and expectation.