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Merike Estna at Fundación Casa Wabi, Mexico city

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Exhibition: Installation view at Fundación Casa Wabi

Merike Estna is included in the exhibition Build, Inhabit, Create at Fundación Casa Wabi, Mexico city

Exhibition dates: February 1 – May 26, 2024
El Colegio de San Ildefonso

“The essence of building is letting dwell (…) only if we are capable of dwelling can we build.”
Martin Heidegger

Fundación Casa Wabi celebrates ten years of work on the coast of Oaxaca. During this time, a model of collaboration has been built between the House, artists, and communities. This exhibition commemorates the convergence of art, community, and nature, developed through five fundamental programs: residencies and community projects, exhibitions, clay, film, and a mobile library.

Founded in October 2014 by Bosco Sodi and Lucia Corredor, Casa Wabi draws inspiration from the work of the great Japanese architect Tadao Ando on the Oaxacan coast; the Foundation takes its name from the Japanese concept of wabi, which generally means “the elegant beauty of humble simplicity.” In addition to this, Casa Wabi develops two spaces for contemporary art in Santa María la Rivera, a neighborhood in Mexico City; one of them designed by architect Alberto Kalach. It is a non-profit social organization focused on collaboration between contemporary artists, architecture, and community. By fostering exchange between these actors, the Foundation experiments with the potential of art in strengthening community relationships, promoting personal and collective creativity, recreating local cultural manifestations, and stimulating partnership and entrepreneurship.

Although this exhibition includes the work of 72 artists, the residency and community project program has hosted more than three hundred creators and cultural actors from various parts of the world. The program fosters dialogue between artists, the Foundation’s team of collaborators, and communities, always starting from the creative inspiration of the residents. Similarly, the Foundation has sought to establish a collaborative and creative relationship with different forms of social organization, such as schools, cooperatives, civil organizations, music bands, or dance companies, among others, from the fifteen communities it has worked closely with on the Oaxacan coast: Agua Zarca, Aguaje el Zapote, Bajos de Chila, Cacalote, Cerro Hermoso, Hidalgo, Juquila, Las Negras, Puerto Escondido, Río Grande, San Isidro Llano Grande, San José Manialtepec, San Martín Caballero, El Venado, and Zapotalito.

The exhibition, curated by Alberto Ríos de la Rosa and Juan Pino Poliakoff, is structured into five sections: “Community at Home,” “Community in Action,” “Community as Inspiration,” “Community Creator,” and “Casa Wabi in Your School.” Each section interweaves a careful display of artworks with creations arising from the artists’ experiences in residence and their commitment to the communities, shaping a tapestry of artistic expression and human collaboration.

The Colegio de San Ildefonso welcomes this exhibition as it constitutes a valuable experience of artistic and community cooperation: an initiative generated by Bosco Sodi, a contemporary artist who, together with a team of collaborators, demonstrates a pertinent interest in the cultural, environmental, and social development of a territory where he produces his own work and develops various projects, lives with his family, and interacts with neighbors and inhabitants of some of the coastal communities, representatives of the rich cultural diversity of Oaxaca.

Alberto Ríos de la Rosa
Eduardo Vázquez Martín

Curated by Alberto Ríos de la Rosa and Juan Pino