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The Woman Who Becomes A Bird
Museum Exhibit in Guanajuato City

by Viridiana Gutiérrez

Since the 1940's, San Miguel de Allende has been a nest for artists from around the world, providing the perfect environment to create and establish their studios. So it is for Janice Gordon, an accomplished artist who has had museum exhibitions in the United States, Europe and now in Mexico. In 2015, having discovered its deep and vibrant spirit, she established a studio in San Miguel. Her work draws on her interest in combining and transcending apparent opposites: the physical and the metaphysical; art and science; the concrete and the ephemeral; human and animal. She presently lives and works in New York City and in San Miguel.

For her first exhibition in Mexico, Gordon inaugurated her solo show "The Woman Who Becomes A Bird" on February 18th at the Museo Iconográfico del Quijote (MIQ) in the city of Guanajuato, after it had been postponed for two years due to the pandemic. Her show kicked off the exhibition programming for 2022 at the MIQ. This, along with many other exhibitions in Guanajuato museums, begins the normalization of the city's cultural and artistic activities. The exhibition will be open to the public until the end of March.

The artist describes "The Woman Who Becomes a Bird" as a photographic and collage series which reveals the process of transformation through the metamorphosis of corporeal images. Since ancient times, birds have represented the celestial possibility of going beyond - leaving the constraints of gravity to fly free, to transcend the earthly concerns defined by the strictures of society and the demands of a corporeal existence, to express the hidden voice within and to touch the mystery beyond the material world. Birds have acted as symbols for the human desire to explore the liminal space between body and spirit, between heaven and earth, between being and becoming. This series is about that yearning. Combining closeup images of the "becoming," the series is a visual exploration of a woman experiencing a transformation. This woman represents all women - indeed, all sentient beings - who seek to experience and reveal a part of themselves that has been kept hidden, who seek to find their voice, manifest their power, free themselves from biology and destiny; and in a final transformation, touch the eternal, integrating body and spirit.

Gordon has created work that is both mysterious and poetic. Deconstructing and reconfiguring the female body to be both woman and bird is an expression of a universal desire to transform, to evolve the human spirit. The work, however, is also political, since it centers on "the woman," who through a performative act, releases herself from cultural identities, gender-based biases and the material conditions of a woman's life, unleashing wild imaginations and radical practices that look toward transgressive and creative possibilities committed to living differently. This theme seems to be especially relevant at this time, during Women's History Month.



"The Woman Who Becomes A Bird" by Janice Gordon
February-March 2022, Tuesdays-Saturdays 10am-5pm, Sundays 12-5pm
Museo Iconográfico del Quijote, Manuel Doblado #2, Centro, Guanajuato City


Viridiana Gutiérrez is an art consultant and cultural manager. She has worked for private and public art institutions in Mexico for 18 years.

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