ABOUT THE PROJECT:
¡Estas Como Mango! means that you are like a Mango... sweet, perfect and ripe! Of course, we believe everyone is perfect and everyone is ripe. This exhibition of contemporary art and public practice will open at Oficina de Proyectos Culturales (OPC) in Puerto Vallarta in May 2015 and will be the first exhibition by the Fallen Fruit collective in Mexico. Cultural exchange and contemporary art making is important to the vibrancy of a 21st-century transnational community. We recognize that California was once Mexico and that Latin-American heritage is part of West-coast culture. The artists want to create meaning from the nuances of these histories. We will connect local community and plant an 'Urban Fruit Trail.' a walking trail with fruit for all to share, through old town Puerto Vallarta. Several series of new artwork will be created for the exhibition including a wallpaper made of the fruit of historic Mango Plantations. At OPC, the art installation will re-contextualize local narratives using fruit and images of Puerto Vallarta as a subject, object and symbol.
The artworks will respond to people and place and use local fruit as a connector. Fruit is a part of the history of a place. In the case of Puerto Vallarta, we found that the mango is paramount to local culture. Mangos were imported to this tropical beach town and part of its foundation in terms of urban planning, infrastructure, and culture. This area was a place to harvest salt for the mines, then a plantation, a village, and now a town—where the culture of the plantation was replaced by a culture of tourism. From this context, we will create new artworks that celebrate the history of place and fruit as a connector of cultural meaning.
Fallen Fruit projects always use fruit as a material to connect people and place and explore issues of cultural meaning. We want to bring locals (Pata Saladas), ex-pats, Tapatios and tourists together over something we all share in common - fruit. In the case of ¡Estas Como Mango! the narratives will include local rituals and cultural tourism as themes in this body of works.
“As we mark the one-year anniversary of OPC, our organization cannot imagine a better exhibition than ¡Estas Como Mango! to foster dialogue about contemporary art and public practice! We are honored to work with Fallen Fruit in presenting their first project in Mexico—an exhibition that is multifaceted and that will reach so many diverse members of the Vallarta community.”- Pilar Perez, Director at OPC.
Funds for the Fallen Fruit: ¡Estas Como Mango! exhibition will be used to produce site-specific art works, including a Puerto Vallarta-themed wall paper; to create a limited-edition magazine with artworks made by local Puerto Vallarta community members; to plant an Urban Fruit Trail for everyone to share; and to produce a Saturday morning workshop for youth.
The Urban Fruit Trails creates a real trail through Puerto Vallarta where fruit is accessible and free to everyone. Urban Fruit Trails is an installation of approximately 20 fruit trees along the interstitial spaces Vallarta neighborhoods connecting Centro Historico to Playa de Los Muertos. Fallen Fruit and OPC will be in collaboration with the public and Vallarta Bontanical Garden, to create the first Urban Fruit Trails project in Puerto Vallarta. The trail creates a new urban experience. Fallen Fruit believes that Public Fruit Trees are for sharing. Often fruit triggers positive childhood memories. Fruit is relatable to people at every stage of life. Most importantly, fruit is considered to be a gift, a sign of hospitality, and an equalizer of class, gender, race or generational boundaries. It's an experience and invitation for the public to explore the city and landscape in a unique way. Signage placed at each tree explains that this is part of a network of Urban Fruit Trails and that fruit is a symbol of sharing with others. Fallen Fruit will also collaborate with residents and historians to celebrate local facts and historic lore about the neighborhood and its residents along the trails. Interesting neighborhood facts and fruit tree locations will be geo-tagged on the “Urban Fruit Trails of Puerto Vallarta” online map. Possible community partners could include: any home or business owner who wants to plant a tree next to the sidewalk, youth based community programs, faith based community leadership, and others. Fallen Fruit has a history of bridging communities through fruit and embracing the support of several existing civic programs within the same project.
¡VIVA LAS FRUTAS!:
Fallen Fruit will design a repeating, custom wallpaper pattern celebrating the fruit of Vallarta created using local fruits (mangoes and coconuts, for example), obtained from spaces in the public right-of-way and historic mango trees from the plantations surrounding Los Mangos Library. Our work is site specific and created through a process of research and discovery. The custom designed wallpaper pattern is installed as a wall treatment and will become the background of the gallery exhibition.
FALLEN FRUIT MAGAZINE:
The first issue and public participatory project was inaugurated in Vallarta at OPC! Fallen Fruit Magazine brings together public participation, local histories and storytelling from Vallarta. Using strategies of collage this temporary team of culture advocates used fruit as a symbol, object and/or subject to create original editorial content to produce in one-day a site-specific limited-edition contemporary culture magazine. It’s unique and is editorially focused to topics and subject matter that is historically meaningful to the neighborhood and/or region.
The Magazines are assembled in 2 collaborative actions: 1) Story-telling/memories, critical theory, creative writing and interviews with real-time content creation by invited guests artists, cultural leaders, and the public. 2) Drawing from our project, 'Fallen Fruit Factory,' we create cut-out collage, hand-made graphics, illustrations for written text, original artwork, and political posters all through a lens of local fruit and the agency of public space.
ABOUT THE PROJECT:
The exhibition is presented as a series of projects that together form a critical contemporary body of artwork that explores the relationship of local culture and tourist culture to a geographical area of Puerto Vallarta. The series of artworks are created from research-based production during several trips to Vallarta learning about history, personal stories, exploring streets and alleys, as well as exploration of communal lands and beaches. This is a project that collectively focuses upon two aspects the history of Puerto Vallarta: First is the notion of communal land that once was all of the geographic area around the Bay of Banderas and home to indigenous peoples; the second is privatization and the commercialization enterprise of these communal lands.
ABOUT FALLEN FRUIT:
Fallen Fruit is a collaborative art project that began in Los Angeles in 2004 with mapping “public fruit” – fruit that grows on or over public property. Their projects include diverse site-specific artworks that embrace public participation. Fallen Fruit’s art works invite people to experience their city as a fruitful, generous place, inviting people to engage in sharing and collectively explore the meaning of community and collaboration through public participation and exhibition programs.
The Fallen Fruit public participatory projects are cross-generational site-specific works of art and engage sight, sound, smell, touch, taste and the “sense of self”. Fallen Fruit projects use fruit as a material to examine people and place and explore issues of cultural meaning. The installation projects often addresses these questions within the context of public space or the boundaries of public and private. In the case of ¡Estas Como Mango! the narratives will include local rituals and cultural tourism as themes in this body of works.
Previous projects that can be reviewed as examples include: eatLACMA (Los Angeles); Accion Fruta Urbana (Madrid); Fallen Fruit of Utah (Salt Lake City); The Fruit Doesn’t Fall Far From The Tree (Atlanta Contemporary Art Center & Pelican Bomb for Prospect 3+); Rainbow Bridge (San Diego), Pineapple Express (Brisbane, Australia), among others.
Fallen Fruit is an art collaboration originally conceived in 2004 by David Burns, Matias Viegener and Austin Young. Since 2013, David and Austin have continued the collaborative work.
David Burns is a life-long Californian and native of Los Angeles. He earned an MFA in Studio Art from UCIrvine and a BFA from California Institute of the Arts. David is a co-founder of Fallen Fruit, a contemporary art collective that uses fruit as a material for creating art projects that investigate the boundaries of public spaces, including urban geographies, historical archives and time-based media. Prior to his work with Fallen Fruit, David was core faculty in two programs at CalArts from 1994 to 2008. David’s curatorial practice investigates narrative structures in contemporary art with notable exhibitions.
Austin Young grew up in Reno, Nevada. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles and studied painting at Parsons in Paris, France. Early in his career, Austin transferred his interests from traditional painting and taught himself portrait photography. In many ways, Austin is more accurately described as an image-maker: his works illustrate the sublime qualities of character that make celebrated people unique. Based on a visual language of iconography, his trademark style and techniques have captured musicians, artists and celebrities including Debbie Harry, Leigh Bowery and Margaret Cho.
Oficina de Proyectos Culturales is an independent non-profit arts organization dedicated to fostering dialogue through exhibitions, round table discussions, public art and arts education programs. OPC works with artists, architects, curators, academics, and writers who explore ideas that shape our city and to develop cultural programming that is firmly rooted in Puerto Vallarta, yet international in scope.
Risks and challenges
Raising money for an art and culture project in Mexico is our biggest challenge. Help us succeed in creating a landmark exhibition in Puerto Vallarta. We at OPC face the challenge of successfully presenting a cultural and historical narrative of a place by artists and creators that are from another geographical location. But we are confident with the track record of Fallen Fruit in places like Salt Lake City, Atlanta, Sydney, etc. that we will have a successful exhibition in Mexico.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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