The Spirit of the Americas
A powerful unifying, cohesive force runs throughout the present exhibition, a force that finds its expression in a multicultural, multimedia collection of work in search of the commonality of experience in the Americas .
French-English speaking Québécois visual artists have joined with a Mexican colleague to produce a series of engravings inspired by the poem Totem of Stone, by the Mexican writer Benito Díaz.
Totem of Stone itself is a synthesis: a long poem with an epic intention, it is written in a concise, lyric style that has a certain Zen quality. The central theme is the rediscovery and preservation of the natural world as it is embodied in the Americas .
The voice is incantatory; calling upon the ancient gods of the hemisphere, from Manitou to Quetzalcoatl, to reassert the ancestral belief that humanity must live in harmony with nature.
Inuit, Iroquois and Mexican Indian cultures are all invoked in elegiac form and as the basis for the creation of a new consciousness that may be able to save the planet from being utterly consumed and poisoned by a soulless materialistic civilization.
The artists in the exhibition have listened to the voice of the poem and have interpreted it according to their individual psyches and feelings. Words have been translated into line and texture: artists of three cultures, Mexico , Québec and Canada, have linked South to North, Meso-America to boreal America , in a common desire to reaffirm the spirit of native ways and to proclaim its vision of wholeness and unity.