Video Production Editing: Connie Hurtado Langerenne.
The Custodians of Corn
A Sculpture Study on the Contemporary Mexican Female Identity
In contemporary Mexico, violence against women has been steadily increasing day after day. 65 out of 100 women aged 15 and over reveal themselves as subjects of at least one act of violence from a man—emotional, physical, sexual, economic, patrimonial or employment discrimination. Femicides have gone from being a crime to become just a headline that sells well in the weekly tabloids. Women’s voices are still shunted aside even when the largest portion of the family economy is supported by a woman. We are living a crucial moment in which redefining concepts and giving voice and stage to the female gender is a must.
Definitely, one cannot talk about the nation without granting Mexican women an indisputable and of greater importance role as generators of life, and as active social elements in building society.
The Custodians of Corn—A Sculpture Study on the Contemporary Mexican Female Identity symbolically and respectfully portrays women from different states of the Mexican Republic who, from their current occupations, are intertwined with the land and the corn, an element that culturally unifies us as Mexicans. From the countrywoman who works with the soil, the poet and artist who talks about corn, the one who makes products with this grain, to the engineer who modifies it, or the saleswoman or businesswoman who lives in the cities or towns dedicated to the production and selling of this basic food product.
Each work (Figurative Sculpture) carries elements and materials endemic to the region where the portrayed woman lives, as well as symbolic elements of her family, social or economic relationship with corn—colors, textures, and organic shapes. The story of each woman portrayed is narrated through her power animal as a symbol of the transformation of her spirit.
The collection is made up of 13 small, medium, and large format sculptures.
This exhibition’s main goal is to become the voice of many female voices, those that day after day transform their lives and that of the country. In an effort to generate information and empathy, contemporary Mexican women and a slice of their stories are told through symbols and sculptural forms, so that the public gains an awareness that we Mexican women unite to say: not one less.
Maestra Alejandra Zermeño
Born in Mexico City on December 21, 1978. Alejandra Zermeño gained a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Visual Arts from the Academia de San Carlos at the UNAM with a specialty in sculpture. Zermeño graduated with an outstanding average and received an Honorable Mention.
From the very beginning, Zermeño's interest has been the exploration of the body. Her prolific production has been present in more than fifty group exhibitions, as well as in national and international biennials among which the following stand out: Ira Bienal de Escultura de Quito, Ecuador (2021), Castaways, Bateman Foundation gallery of Nature, Victoria, Canada (2020); Arts is the light of civilization, Istanbul, Turkey (2019); Méxtasis, se habla de arte mexicano, Méxtasis gallery, Brooklyn. New York (2018). Latin Views Biennial, Connecticut, USA (2014- 2012-2010). Tokyo International Award, Centro Diffusione Arte, Edizioni e Promozioni Artiche. Italy-Tokyo (2011). International Women in Art Meeting, National Polytechnic (2011). Nord Art Busseldorf, Germany (2011). Descripción de un viaje. Estados Unidos y Canadá (2010-2012). XIV Encuentro Internacional X Iberoamericano de Mujeres en el Arte, Madrid, Spain (2010). Art al Vent VII, Diputación de Alicante, Spain.
Throughout her career, Zermeño has showcased her sculptural project individually in 17 exhibitions at renowned cultural and educational venues in Mexico. Highlighting the following: "Las custodias del maíz", Aguafuerte Gallery, CDMX (2019); "Territorios", Museo de Arte Tridimensional (2011); “El cuerpo superfluo”, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Alfredo Zalce (2011); “BIDA (Biología Interna De los Animales)”, at the Museo Universitario del Chopo (2012); "Cherchez la Femme", Museo de la Mujer (2014), and "Fisiología celular", Corredor Cultural Chávez Morado (2015). Her work is part of the José Vasconcelos Library Permanent Collection, within the framework of the presidential project “La Ciudad de los Libros,” where Alejandra Zermeño made three sculptures for the room that houses the Castro Leal Collection in collaboration with the renowned architect Bernardo Gómez Pimienta during its remodeling. This work was commissioned by the National Council for Culture and the Arts in 2012. Her sculptures can also be seen in public spaces throughout the Mexican Republic thanks to the 2016 Taktile traveling project. In 2013, Zermeño was a special guest to the Congress of Sculpture Essarts, where she was invited to carry out a public work in Quebec, Canada.
Due to her outstanding career, Zermeño has received various awards and distinctions, among which the following stand out: 1st Acquisition Prize V International Biennial of Contemporary Sacred Art (2015). Tokyo International Merit Award to the Master of Art, Japan (2011). Honorable Mention V National Biennial of Visual Arts of Yucatán (2011). First place in the National Painting and Sculpture Contest Las Mujeres en el Arte (2009). Acquisition Prize I Biennial of Contemporary Sacred Art (2008) Monterrey. In 2007, she was the winner of the Open Art contest for everyone and the 3rd annual contest that
the Leopoldo Flores University Museum Autonomous University of the State of Mexico organizes.
In 2016, Alejandra Zermeño was invited to belong to the Arts & Letters Council of The Mexican Museum in San Francisco, CA. In 2019, her work was published in the book “Fibras Latinoamericanas” by the publishing house Arte al Límite. In 2021, she will carry out the monument of the Colonel Nicolás Romero (combatant during the French intervention in Mexico) to be placed in the main square of the Municipality with the same name in the State of Mexico.