To anybody afflicted with ornithophobia – perhaps they were traumatized as a child after a viewing of Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” – a work by Quebec artist Rene Derouin currently on view at the Ex-Convento del Carmen in downtown Guadalajara will pose a serious threat to the pristine-ness of their drawers.
“El Muro de los Rapaces” (Wall of Raptors), a giant 12-meter-long, 1.2-meter-high panel covered in the silhouettes of cavorting birds, will occupy most of an entire wing of the gallery until Sunday, June 10. According to the Jalisco Culture Department (they own the Ex-Convento), this and many other works by Derouin deal primarily with the idea of migration and the “effect that the movement of nomads has on nature.”
The artist himself corroborated this interpretation. “[The work represents] an interchange of cultures,” says Derouin. “I myself am an American ‘mestizo,’ a mix of north and south. My road is not unlike that of the monarch butterflies. The idea of ‘territory’ is economic, while the idea of the ‘border’ is political. Neither are artistic notions.”
A native of eastern Montreal, Derouin was born in 1936. An innate traveler, his artistic vision has long been informed by the cultures he has come to know as a wanderer, which include those of Mexico, Venezuela, Australia and Japan. This isn’t the first time he has shown work in Mexico, or, in fact, Guadalajara; his first exhibition in Jalisco’s capital was at the Instituto Cultural Cabañas in 1986.
In 2006, Derouin received the Mexican Order of the Aztec Eagle, the highest distinction the Mexican government awards to foreign citizens.
Ex-Convento del Carmen, Juarez 638, Guadalajara centro historico. Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. (33) 3030-1350. Free.