‘Planeta Abuelx’ is a solo exhibition of new work by artist Guadalupe Maravilla drawing on ancestral, Indigenous, and ritual practices of healing. Maravilla’s sculptures are an accumulation of totemic forms, recycled and found materials, botanicals, Mesoamerican symbolism, and functional sound components.
The title, expanding the idea of “Mother Earth” into the intergenerational, gender neutral, and open-ended “Grandparent Planet,” points to Maravilla’s framing of intimate familial relationships and passage of time as crucial to the restorative process. The installation of works serves as an homage to our elders, not only as a vulnerable group disproportionally lost to illness including Covid-19, but also as keepers of curative ancestral knowledge passed down through generations.
Informed by personal experiences of migration and illness, Maravilla’s practice and his exhibition at Socrates invite the public to more broadly consider how we – as communities and individuals – begin rehabilitation and renewal from collective traumas, including the Covid-19 pandemic and continued white supremacist violence. Maravilla’s focus on mutual and holistic care are in harmony with Socrates as a waterfront park, a sheltered green space, and place of community.
Over the course of the Planeta Abuelx exhibition, Maravilla activated the projects on view through a series of public programs including community workshops and therapeutic sound baths. These programs were offered in accordance with Covid-19 safety protocols and responsive to changing conditions.