Notgnirrac in San Luis Potosí

Filming Alfredo Santa Ana’s Notgnirrac at the Museo Leonora Carrington, Nov. 2019.

As we head towards the end of 2019, I’ve had the chance to reflect on a year that has provided artistic challenges, growth, and travel — in particular an exceptional five days spent in San Luis Potosí, Mexico this past November.

There’s a bit of exposition required for this story: part of my LUTALICA project (which you can read more about HERE) involved commissioning three new works by Canadian composers, including the Mexican-born composer Alfredo Santa Ana. Santa Ana’s piece, which I premiered in April, is called Notgnirrac and is inspired by the work and words of the British-Mexican surrealist artist, Leonora Carrington. Sometime after the premiere I discovered that there is, in fact, a museum dedicated to Carrington’s work, Museo Leonora Carrington, located in San Luis Potosí, Mexico. Formerly a colonial-era prison, the city transformed the space into an arts centre that includes the museum, an art gallery, and a music and dance academy.

I reached out to the museum director, Antonio García Acosta, asking about the possibility of filming a video of Santa Ana’s piece within the museum’s galleries and courtyards. This grew into an invitation to not only record the video on museum grounds, but to perform at the museum’s monthly event, Noche de Museo. So on Friday, November 22nd I performed works by Nicole Lizée, Jordan Nobles, and Alfredo Santa Ana; and on Monday, November 25th Alfredo and I filmed for a solid nine hours with Bernardo González Burgos and his team from Kiné Producciones. Below you can see pictures from both the performance and the video shoot — it gives one an idea of the incredible artwork of Leonora Carrington (particularly her sculpted works), as well as the museum space itself.

The Notgnirrac video should be ready in early 2020, completing the trio of videos I set out to make for the LUTALICA project, including forever after by Hope Lee (which can me viewed HERE) and a forthcoming video of Nova Pon’s virtuosic solo flute piece Wrenegade (made by filmmaker Mark Mushet and animator Cindy Mochizuki).

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