Mexico City, April 7 (EFE). – a half-smoked cigarette in front of a teacup in the kitchen, portraits of Queen Elizabeth II in a cupboard, creams from the bathroom she used to take care of herself or a book dedicated by Octavio Paz on the shelves, showing the more intimate face of painter Leonora Carrington in her Casa Studio, which has recently finished From a regeneration in Mexico City.
“The things that we have, that we inherited and that we decided to accompany each other speak a lot about ourselves. When people come here they will be able to complete the character of Leonora who may not be fully known,” Alejandra told Efe this Wednesday, Osorio, Academic and Cultural Director of the Coordination General to publish Autonomous Metropolitan University (UAM), the body responsible for housing rehabilitation.
On Chihuahua Street No. 194, in the center of Colonia (district) Rome, which is now one of the most cosmopolitan points in the capital, Leonora Carrington (1917-2011) lived, of British descent and Mexican nationalization, where she suffered and enjoyed her family life with her husband, Americo Wise. , And their children Gabriel and Pablo.
Desire to preserve life
The house, which was acquired by UAM in 2017 with the aim of discovering part of the intimate relationship of the surrealist artist and creating a place to visit and study, was filled with things belonging to the family that are treasure an important part of the essence of the painter and writer.
Pablo, one of her sons, wanted to preserve this essence and share it with the Mexicans, a town that awakened the artist’s imagination and died in it four years after the death of her Hungarian husband, whom she called a Czech, and who spent her last days in the same house.
For three years, those in charge of the project constantly maintained contact with Pablo, who lives outside of Mexico, but they also conducted interviews, collected testimonials, viewed photos, and analyzed the photos, among many other things, to reconstruct every detail of the house, like that was in The Final Years of Carrington’s Life.
They also had to make complex decisions to find the balance between making the urgent repairs the home needed and turning it into an accessible cultural space, and preserving the building’s identity.
“We seek to find a balance between rebuilding walls, dehumidifying, etc., and making them work. At the same time, we basically wanted to preserve the essence of the house when Leonora was living in it. That was very important,” Francisco Mata Rosas explained to UAM Outreach General Coordinator .
Almost infinite stock
But one of the most important, most interesting and time-consuming parts of the business is creating an inventory of over 1,800 items found in the home, a process which was carried out from June to December 2019 by a team of five to ten. People. , Depending on needs.
From all of them, they took an inventory of things, made a photographic record, made a file for each of them and examined them in case of any kind of “special” discoveries. They can also be inscriptions, gifts, or photographs in the middle of a book or notebook.
“It lasted about six months and it was a process that allowed us to know exactly what we have at home, in terms of documents, photos, clinical files, sales history, and loans obtained from Leonora’s work,” Osorio said: The letters that came to him, some of them ended up not being sent .. .
An inscription on the living room table with “Leonora + Chiki” reads her that a friend of the couple carved a snowball, or pictures with their children and pets on the kitchen cupboard, that she was an ordinary woman.
Far from the mysterious nature of her art and the intertwining and curves of her work, Leonora lived like another. He didn’t throw away his broken glasses, which remained on the bathroom shelf, and kept his aprons to paint for years.
Osorio concluded that “this space of intimacy, the knowledge of books inspired by it, and where the idea of spirals and ellipses came from, these answers are here.”
On Tuesday, Casa Estudio is finally presented, albeit physical and with lots of audiovisual material.
It can be visited online with access to view objects in three dimensions.
And when the pandemic permits, they hope to be able to take in groups for guided tours and thus, finally, become part of the legacy of the Mexico City Museum, even though for them the home is moving away from the concept of “museum”.
“For us it is not a museum, we use the home study form among many other reasons because for us it is an academic and cultural project, in the same proportion,” Mata Rosas, who highlighted the importance of that, in crises like the current one, the state university promotes culture.