De ma mère et de ma terre

De ma mère et de ma terre

From my mother and my land


Fertility, transplantation and death in the creation of immigrant artists from Latin America

Curated by  Rafael Sottolichio


Produced by the Maison de la culture de Villeray-Saint-Michel-Parc-Extension

Presented during the Festival Latinarte, from September 10th to October 12th, 2014

Artists :

Helena Martin Franco (Colombia)

Estela López Solís (Mexico)

Osvaldo Ramirez Castillo (El Salvador)

Mariza Rosales Argonza (Mexico)


“No human experience is meaningless or unworthy of analysis.” Primo Levi

The artists in the exhibition De ma mère et de ma terre (From my mother and my land) are from different cultural communities. Whether they emigrated during their childhood or as adults influences the relation they maintain with their culture of origin, as well as with the culture that receives them. In the works presented, this relation can express itself in nuances or be exposed as an aggressive slap bearing bitter suffering.

The recent history of Latin Americans makes it possible to identify certain identity traits. Between the photographic practices of the 1960s and 1970s and the international avant-gardes these artists have grown with, they write their own journey through their choices.


Drawing a trajectory 

We all have an origin. From our birth, our community will explain to us this world where we are born in. The most contemplative will quicky drawn a map of heavens, thus answering the vast majority of our questions. The most materialistic will sketch an evolution of which we are the pinnacle. Our personal history will draw a plan of our own story directly on our bodies. This plan, we will carry all our life, and it will eventually be erased to leave room for the other story: the immaterial history woven by other bodies and by territories; a story made up of words, names and imagination. Proper names, but also the names of cities, countries, rivers, oceans will stick to the skin like blessed or cursed epithets. Citizens of a territory or passengers of arbitrary trajectories, we will spend our lives searching for the meaning of the contingencies that will lead us from here to there, of the events that will write our history in the perpetual imbrication of that of others.


Thus, each artist develops in his work a relation to identity, whether it is a national identity or more intimate, personal. Countries of origin and adoption take part in defining and naming the reality of each artist. But are they Canadian? Quebecer? Mexican? Latino?

Like seeds carried by the wind across mountains and valleys beyond borders, artists are looking for a fertile land where they can transplant their creative project. The visual codes of Latin American artists relate to each other, whether they arrived late or grew up in North America. Life, death, religion : the archetypes that make up our relationship to the place in life are here called into question. Like the individual who must learn that he is “multiple”, that throughout his life, his identity must be open to integrate new information, the artist has to redefine himself in his work and expose these interrogations, this tension, this adventure.

PDF : Brochure