You are here: Home EXHIBITION: Same same, but different Artists José Manuel Mayorga Saravia Todo lo que permita el cielo, 2005

Todo lo que permita el cielo, 2005

Gelatin silver print

Todo lo que permita el cielo, 2005

Todo lo que permita el cielo, 2005


All That Heaven Allows, 2005

The title of the work is inspired by the name of the film of Douglas Sirk All that heaven allows (1955) with Rock Hudson and Jane Wyman, which in turn inspired Far from Heaven (2002) from Todd Haynes with Julianne Moore, Dennis Quaid and Dennis Haysbert.

The guatemalan reality surpasses by far the fictions of Hollywood.

The work is constituted by three pictures in small format, gelatin silver print, and two texts, one placed on the back of the photos and the other on, at present in disuse, heat sealing paper, which has been used for many years as base for documenting widespread official certificates of govermental bodies (appears on the colored photo on the left, below).

A real complaint of an offense to the Department of the Interior is written on the heat sealing paper. The texts say:

Victoria*, guatemalan woman of the ethnic group mam, has migrated from the interior to the capital for a better life. In her childhood she had been victim of sexual abuse. She’s illiterate. She lives with a cohabitant and is mother of 2 children. She experienced acts of violence in the fold of her own family. She already presented denunciations to the authorities, with no results. The first denunciation is the transcription in the following text. The photographies which contributed to this work, are motivated by new abuses of her person, and were taken in the apartment house in august 2005. The silence is present every day in the live of Victoria.

Department of the Interior. Complaint No. 4488-99. Introducing passages, saying literally:
In Guatemala-City, at 6:05 pm, April 11th 1999, in the premises which occupies the office of the on-call duty of the municipal distrital public prosecutor …" "…before the signing Official on Duty, appears a person with the purpose of presenting a denunciation. The proceeding is as follows:
FIRST: Manifests the accusant, to have the following personal identification:
VICTORIA* is 17 years old…"

SECOND: In relation to her denunciation, she testifies that: The day before in the night about 7 pm, I was at home when my husband"..."returned home drunken, started to insult me and then abused me sexually. And today when I came home, he started to insult me again and beat me with a stick, which broke on my head, then he tried to strangle me in the bed, this caused the scratches on my neck. Since a long time we have problems with my husband, only he passes them argueing with me. Furthermore he threatened me with death, because he said, that he would be waiting for me when I would come home in order to kill me.

*fictitious name

This work was selected from the Jury of the XV Bienal de Arte Paiz (XV Biennial of Paiz Art) and forms a part of the collection of "Glifos" of the Fundación Paiz para la Cultura y el Desarrollo (Paiz Foundation for Culture and Development).


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