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Only One Leg to Stand On, exhibit
Exhibition June 23 – August 27
Opening reception June 23, 8pm

by Edward Swift

My fourth exhibition at the Museo de la Ciudad de Querétaro is titled: Solamente una pierna para estar de pie / Only One Leg to Stand On. I will show eighteen figurative sculptures to be view on all sides and twelve for the wall. Almost all have only one leg; some mysteriously have two legs and wonder why. Additionally, I will exhibit three totems surrounded by forty hanging figures, and sixteen empty shoes covered with my signature paper cement and painted. I decided to leave the shoes empty because they make a stronger existential statement without adornment.

The exhibition could easily be called In Spite Of, because the figures have a physical limitation, and yet they continue doing whatever they do. Some are collectors with backpacks full of their collections: used wire, lost souls, rusty screws, hinges, sticks. The collections may seem insignificant but we do whatever we have to do to keep going, to put one foot in front of the other; although in this case the figures have only one foot neatly fitted into a shoe.

The exhibition is inspired by an idiomatic expression in English, one that my mother used in various forms: Not a leg to stand on. In a court of law without witnesses we don't have a leg to stand on. That's how it's normally used, however my mother, prone to irony and metaphors, would say: "I'm nothing but a tired, old, worn-out widow with only one leg to stand on, but I'm still going along." She would call for "respect" for "sympathy," for "a helping hand," and she would play it all for laughs. My cousins and I would fall down laughing when she got going. I like to think that her dark comic sensibility has found a place in all of my work literary and visual.

The exhibition is also inspired by a drawing I purchased from the late Nicholas Cuellar, the San Miguel surrealist. In the drawing there is a man standing on one leg. He has a backpack or a knapsack filled with heads. I have been haunted by this image for a long time and finally decided to do something about it. Additionally, there is a man in Queretáro who stations himself just outside the Del Sol department store across the street from the Jardin Zenea. He has no legs. He lies flat of his back in a little box and he has a cup for receiving donations. I always stop to talk to him and give him money. Of course, what good will a few pesos do? Nothing will restore his legs, but maybe it will make his life a little easier. What impresses me is that in spite of his sever limitation, he continues. He always seems to be in a good mood. He even smiles. How is it possible? I wonder. He has no legs to stand on. I also like to think that a bit of his spirit has found its way into this exhibition.


Only One Leg to Stand On
Exhibition: Museo de la Ciudad de Querétaro
June 23 – August 27
Calle Guerro 27, Norte, Central Historico, Querétaro
Opening reception June 23, 8pm


Edward Swift was born in the Big Thicket Area of Eastern Texas. He lived for many years in New York City before moving to San Miguel de Allende. He is the author of 8 novels and a memoir. His latest book, Walking on Glory, is avaiable from Amazon.com
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