In what could be seen as part of the last farewell to Guadalajara by absentee mayor – and, perhaps, future Jalisco governor – Enrique Alfaro, the sixth element of his ambitious, controversial public arts program has been installed in the city, this time atop a stretch of the prominent Jorge Matute suspension bridge, which shades Avenida Lazaro Cardenas, within spitting distance of the giant yellow Arcos del Milenio.
“Reminiscencia,” made of forged steel by Cuban artist Rafael San Juan, is a nine-meter-high attenuated bust of a woman with a crown of flowers decorating her comely face. She weighs a demure four tons.
Interestingly, the statue can only be appreciated by motorists traveling west, as the east-facing statue’s back is basically hollow.
The statue, which has yet to be inaugurated, will feature an inscription reading “concocer es recordar” (to know is to remember). The phrase, according to San Juan, is an invitation to those visiting the city to “get to know and remember her.”
In addition to its role as a sort of municipal Walmart greeter, the statue was designed to be an homage, says San Juan, to the “archetype of Tapatia womanhood.”
In the work’s construction, which took six months, San Juan used recycled steel from nearby economic powerhouse Leon, Guanajuato. Its cost: two million pesos ($US98,400).
According to Adrian Guerrero, head of Public Space Projects for the city, three more works of public art will soon follow “Reminiscencia.” Avenida Mexico will be home to one, while another will be installed near the Panteon Guadalajara cemetery. A third will be seen somewhere in the eastern part of the city. The bureaucrat also indicated that all three works will be installed before the current mayoral administration’s term comes to a close.