- Carried out with the support of FEMSA Foundation through three exhibition cycles -SOMOS Transiciones, SOMOS Tránsitos and SOMOS- the new public art project in Distritotec reflects on life as change and the movement and transformation that we live in different stages of our being.
Monterrey, Nuevo León, México. 29 de junio de 2023.– The exploration of life as change and the transformations that we experience as human beings throughout different stages, are the focus of SOMOS: an exhibition in three cycles that is presented in the Open Gallery of distritotec.
The project is carried out by Arte y Cultura of FEMSA Foundation, through Difusión y Fomento Cultural, A.C., in collaboration with Tec de Monterrey, distritotec, Laboratorio Arte A.C. and Alboroto, and alongside the artist Sara Medina, the urban planner Sheila Ferniza and the curator Gemma Argüello.
‘SOMOS’ is an exhibition that gives continuity to the line of research and some processes that began in Resonances, the previous exhibition of Open Gallery, in which the concept of empathy was explored. One of its objectives is to recognize the different stages or changes that exist in people’s lives, among which is gender transition, for which it seeks to promote dialogue between different groups or organizations of the LGBTQIA+ community, as well as collaborate with them.
“It is a pleasure for us to continue collaborating with Tec de Monterrey and to explore the possibilities of Open Gallery of distritotec. This year and part of 2024 we will continue to explore empathy and how we relate to ourselves and to the other beings with whom we share the planet. We believe and trust that the arts are a means through which we can find ourselves (both with our own selves and with others), as well as reflect and question how we live in this world”, said Beto Díaz, Coordinator of Curatorship and Innovation of Difusión y Fomento Cultural, A.C.
The project was curated by Gemma Argüello, who has a PhD in Philosophy from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, and works at the intersections between aesthetics, ethics and political philosophy, and in recent years has focused on participatory and social artistic practices, as well as feminist art.
“It was a process of dialogue and co-creation in which we proposed to make an exhibition as palindromes. The exhibition is divided into three parts: the first, which is currently on display, is SOMOS Transiciones; it focuses on diversity and inclusion, and has gender, age and affectivities as its axes. The second will be SOMOS Tránsitos and the final is SOMOS, which will integrate the previous two”, said Arguello.
SOMOS Transiciones started from the axes to propose participatory processes, as well as a selection of phrases that recover the stories of struggles for sexual and gender diversity undertaken by feminists, as well as other phrases that show how we go through different stages of life, all of them focused on combating discrimination,” she continued.
Medina explained that these participatory processes take shape through traveling posters that visit places and events that are relevant to the community, inviting them to participate in different exercises that will later return to be part of the exhibition.
So far, two prints have been intervened: one at the Distritotec Street festival, where people were asked to leave advice for someone who is changing and sign only with their age. The other was intervened by those attending the Monterrey Diversity March, attended by representatives of the Tec de Monterrey student group AIRE (Association for Integration, Respect and Equity), born in May 2014 on Monterrey campus with the goal of seeking the inclusion of people with diverse sexuality and gender identities.
SOMOS Tránsitos, the second cycle, will explore the ways we have to pass, go through and move through different spaces, and how we live in the environment in Monterrey, where certain connections and relationships are fostered or hindered.
The third cycle, SOMOS, brings together the results of the processes, and it discusses and reinterprets what came to be in the previous cycles.
Through exhibitions in partnership with distritotec, FEMSA Foundation promotes non-discrimination and the defense of diversity and inclusion as essential values to build just, egalitarian and prosperous societies where all people have the opportunity to fully develop and contribute in a significant way.
For its part, the student group AIRE seeks that all people are treated without discrimination inside the university, based on the creation of support networks for those who need them.
The curator added that, in addition to the importance of exposing issues that directly deal with diversity and inclusion in educational spaces, it is important to occupy public spaces to exhibit pieces that address them from a critical perspective, so that both habitual residents and passers-by can access the works and the perspectives that are committed to diversity.
“In relation to the issue of inclusion related to the exhibition devices, we would like to highlight that we worked on a design that could be much more accessible for people with visual disabilities: we lowered the height of the sheets so that they could be more accessible for people with motor disabilities and for short people on the street”, said Medina.
SOMOS’ three cycles will remain the rest of the year in distritotec’s Open Gallery, located on Av. Fernando García Roel, between Eugenio Garza Sada and Junco de la Vega.
“I am very excited to see the participation of people, to see what they think or what resonates with them about the topics that are talked about in the exhibition and I’m hoping to see the conversation flowing in both directions,” Medina concluded.
FEMSA is a leading company that creates economic and social value through companies and institutions and seeks to be the best employer and neighbor of the communities where it has a presence. It participates in retail trade through its Proximity Division, which includes OXXO, a chain of small-format stores, OXXO Gas, a chain of service stations, and Valora, our European retail unit that operates convenience and food service stores. In retail trade, FEMSA also participates through a Health Division, which includes pharmacies and related activities; and the Digital@FEMSA Division, which includes Spin by OXXO and OXXO Premia, as well as other loyalty initiatives and digital financial services. In the beverage industry, it participates by operating Coca-Cola FEMSA, the world’s largest bottler of Coca-Cola products by sales volume; and in the beer sector, as the second largest shareholder of Heineken, one of the world’s leading beer companies with a presence in more than 70 countries. FEMSA also participates in the logistics and distribution industry through FEMSA Strategic Business, which additionally provides refrigeration solutions at the point of sale and plastic solutions to its companies and external clients. Through its Business Units, it employs more than 350,000 employees in 18 countries. FEMSA is a member of the Dow Jones MILA Pacific Alliance Sustainability Index, the FTSE4Good Emerging Index and the S&P/BMV Total México ESG Index, among other indices that assess its sustainability performance.
About FEMSA Foundation
In FEMSA Foundation our goal is to create positive impact on people and communities through social investment projects for sustainability. We make a better future for all by working in three strategic areas: the promotion of efficient resource management for sustainable development, the promotion of the integral development of early childhood and the dissemination of Latin American art and culture. For more information, visit us at www.fundacionfemsa.org or follow us on Facebook (/ FundacionFEMSA) and Twitter (@FundacionFEMSA).