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Jose Dávila in El pasado nunca es el mismo

Jose Dávila (Mexico, 1974) is known for his balancing acts with everyday materials that poignantly suggest the interpersonal relationships and networks of dependency that constitute society. With these acts, reflecting his profound idealism and optimism, he obliquely presents eloquent arguments in favor of the maintenance and care of these networks, which tend to make us feel that investing our consciousness in networks of contingency and fragility is virtuous, even heroic.

In The Past is Never the Same his exhibition expressly for Casa Wabi, using nothing more than construction debris collected from all over Puerto Escondido and a concept called collective memory, Dávila sets out to realize an idea of ​​honoring the past and inhabiting history in a very different way to the way monuments traditionally commemorate people and events.

By accessing and manipulating memory through mundane building materials the works he has created for Casa Wabi generate a sense of communality. Not only because waste everywhere looks similar, but also because most humans today share the anxiety that comes from living in environments in a perpetual state of construction and deconstruction. A pile of rocks, for example, which has changed little in many millennia, is a universally evocative metaphor of collective understanding because rock is fundamental to our experience of the built environment. And just as rock can be incorporated almost infinitely into new structures, we are constantly reconfiguring our memories: drawn from our own experience, but also from the experiences of those around us, and from our cultures and histories, into a continually renewed social structure. Plywood, reinforced concrete, and rebar have similarly become inevitable parts of this terroir of modern life, debris that represents us all: a kind of repository of common experiences.