This weekend kicked off the 59th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, where for the first time Mexico is represented by an artistic group, whose proposal, Until the songs sprout, is displayed in the Old Venice Arsenal Complex.

In parallel, a Mexican somewhat lost in the turbulent waters of a post-pandemic sea directs his boat towards the Venetian port to reflect on migration in the world.

The metaphor alludes to Rodrigo de la Sierra, the only national artist presenting these days at the sixth edition of the Biennial of Contemporary Art of the European Cultural Center, who, through his alter ego Timoteo, mounted on the boat “Horizonte”, disembarks in Venice to be part of the Personal Structures – Reflections exhibition, which is on display in the Marinaressa gardens.

“Horizon” (2017), a bronze sculpture almost five meters long, 2 meters wide and 2.5 meters high, represents a boat that struggles not to sink; a group of desperate Timos, on one side, and on the other, a lonely Timo looking towards the horizon. The work was created during the first days when we were learning about the ships that were transporting desperate refugees across the Mediterranean, in their attempt to reach Europe.

“My creation process seeks to maintain synthesis and simplicity in the sculptural work. The power of observation reveals the clichés of contemporary society. Seeing them through a filter of irony and sarcasm, but at the same time humanitarian and hopeful, results in Timoteo”, says Rodrigo de la Sierra.

The exhibition of the piece, which is part of the collection of El Economista, represents “the greatest honor” for the artist, and his speech “is very ad hoc at this time to talk about a global problem that we are suffering: migration” , the sculptor shares in a video call from across the ocean.

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“This is not about voluntary migration, but about the forced, co-opted migration of those who have to leave their land in the midst of adversity to seek a better life. Without naming him, Timoteo talks about the migration from Mexico to the United States, from Central America to Mexico, from the Ukraine to Poland; today Timoteo represents everyone, all social classes, and points out the humanitarian shortage that we are experiencing, and also points to a horizon of hope”, he adds.

The sculpture will be exhibited in Venice until November 27, 2022, but it will not immediately return to Mexico, as it will become a traveling piece. Rodrigo de la Sierra shares that the Italian artist Matteo Basile has requested that part of his work begin a tour of other cities on the peninsula, starting with Rome, and then embark on a journey through China.

Timothy’s message of hope is universal. It represents the resilience and the ability of the human being to separate himself from adversity and look towards the horizon in these difficult times.”

Rodrigo de la Sierra, architect and sculptor.

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