"Voy a empezar en español y en la cocina. Two uses of the verb separar. El primer sentido. Voy a separar la yema de la clara, separar un huevo. I will separate the white from the yolk. I will separate an egg. I crack the egg and I now slide the white onto one half of the shell and I place the egg white in a bowl. I repeat the operation till I have separated all of the egg white from the yolk. Si la operación no ha sido exitosa, entonces queda un poquito de yema en la clara. If the operation has not been successful, a bit of the yolk stains the white. I wish I could begin with another egg, but that is a waste, as I was taught. So I must try to lift all the yolk from the white with a spoon, a process that is tedious and hardly ever entirely successful. The intention is to separate, first cleanly and then, in case of failure, a bit messily, the white from the yolk, to split the egg into two parts as cleanly as one can. This is an exercise in purity."
María Lugones, 'Purity, Impurity, and Separation'
Haciendo mayonesa, so begins one of the many essays authored by Lugones and revisited frequently by the artists and many throughout the world. Here the text is activated by a full and faithful re-inscription on cascarones. They are filled with silver glitter, sealed with gold; who will dare to follow tradition and shatter one on the skull of a friend?
The cascarones, nestled in their twelve foot long carton, are underscored by a plaster "long egg," a Danish innovation in food production. Videos exploring both traditions are included here.
This project is in gratitude to Lugones: Thank you. It takes huevos to be impure. But huevos are fragile and one must read carefully.
Lugones, Maria. 1994. “Purity, Impurity, and Separation”. Signs 19 (2). University of Chicago Press: 458–79.
Image: Josh T Franco, cascaron transcription in process, detail of page-to-egg numbering system.
Impurity takes huevos… was commissioned for:
Espejos / Mirrors: An Exhibition of New York Artists
Community School of Music and Arts, 330 East State Street, Ithaca, NY, October 2015
Organized by Sonja Gandert, Norma Gutiérrez, and Carolina Osorio Gil
Part of the Ithaca Latin@ Heritage Month celebration organized by ¡CULTURA! Ithaca and the Latino Civic Association of Tompkins County, Espejos / Mirrors is an exhibition of New York State-based artists whose work captures the complex and multilayered richness of the contemporary Latin@ American experience. In addition to highlighting regional talent, this exhibition will also offer the opportunity to pay tribute to one of Latin America’s most influential figures: writer and journalist Eduardo Galeano, who passed away in April of this year at age 74.
As art critic John Berger wrote, “To publish Eduardo Galeano is to publish the enemy: the enemy of lies, indifference, above all of forgetfulness. Thanks to him, our crimes will be remembered. His tenderness is devastating, his truthfulness furious." Galeano, who lived for years in political exile from his native Uruguay, has become a touchstone for advocates of social justice worldwide through his incisive yet minimal prose, which uses irony, humor, and the power of words left unsaid to give voice to those peoples and stories that have been erased from dominant narratives. In his book Espejos: Una historia casi universal (Mirrors: Stories for Almost Everyone), Galeano’s pared-down vignettes cast an upside-down perspective on global history, with topics spanning from prehistoric cave paintings to contemporary foreign interventions in the Middle East. Though best known for his commentaries on Latin America, it is his wholly visual treatment of a broad swath of subjects that makes his words an ideal complement to the diverse experiences of Latin@s in the visual arts. This exhibition creates a mirrored pairing of artworks in the show and bilingual narratives taken from Espejos in order to spark provocative comparisons and dialogue.
Adriana Arango Guillén
Josh T. Franco
Norma S. Gutiérrez
Moh (Arturo Méndez)
Mar E. Pérez
Also featuring special guest artist Nao Bustamante
Image: Chris Oliver, plaster long egg replica in production, detail yolk
Impurity takes huevos was a collaboration with Ithaca-based artist Chris Oliver, who constructed and installed the modified egg cartons, shelving, and plaster long egg.
El faraón Tutmosis regresó de Siria, tras culminar una de las fulminantes campañas que le dieron gloria y poder desde el delta del Nilo hasta el río Éufrates.
Como era costumbre, el cuerpo del rey vencido colgaba, boca abajo, de la proa de su nave capitana, y toda la flota venía repleta de tributos y de ofrendas.
Entre los regalos, había una pájara jamás vista, gorda y fea. El regalador había presentado a la impresentable:—Sí, sí—admitió, mirando al piso—. Esta pájara no es bella. No sabe cantar. Tiene pico corto, cresta boba y ojos estúpidos. Y sus alas, de plumas tristes, se han olvidado de volar.
Entonces tragó saliva. Y agregó:—Pero tiene un hijo por día.
Y abrió una caja, donde había siete huevos: —He aquí los hijos que ha parido en la última semana.
Los huevos fueron sumergidos en agua hirviente.
El faraón los probó descascarados y aderezados con una pizca de sal.
La pájara viajó en su camarote, echada a su lado.
Pharaoh Tuthmosis was returning from Syria after completing one of the crushing campaigns that extended his power and glory from the Nile Delta to the Euphrates River.
As was the custom, the body of the vanquished king hung upside down on the prow of the flagship, and the entire fleet was filled with tributes and offerings.
Among the gifts was a female bird never before seen, fat and ugly. The giver had delivered the unpresentable present himself: “Yes, yes,” he confessed, eyes on the floor. “This bird is not beautiful. It does not sing. It has a blunt beak, a silly crest, and stupid eyes. And its wings of sad feathers have forgotten how to fly.”
Then he swallowed. And he added, “But it sires a child a day.” He opened a box where seven eggs lay. “Here are last week’s children.”
The eggs were submerged in boiling water.
The pharaoh tasted them, peeled and dressed with a pinch of salt.
The bird traveled in his chambers, lying by his side.
–Eduardo Galeano, Espejos: Una historia casi universal / Mirrors: Stories of Almost Everyone
Selected to accompany Impurity takes huevos… by the curators of Espejos / Mirrors
A Danish innovation.
"Rose Cerda of The Mixing Bowl Bakery in Oak Cliff recycles her eggs shells from breakfast tacos to make confetti eggs, cascarones, for Easter. Video/Editing: Gloria Salinas"
-uploaded to youtube by neighborsgo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31MlgZCLtdg