#2 Quinta Serena
Built in 1835, Quinta Serena houses unique objects, including a double-seater palanquin, woods of African provenance, old gin-bottles and family portraits of the de Souzas.
The work by Mexican photographer Claudia López Ortega welcomes the visitor in the frescoed hall. “El Paraíso” is an impoverished beach resort regularly affected by seasonal storms that destroy the local dreams of tourism development. It is against this background that the photographer observes her daughter’s growth – she compares her freckles to constellations that undergo rearrangement year after year – as well as the playful exchange of roles between the daughter and the photographer-mother.
In the sumptuous Sala, you will find Roberto Tondopo’s “The Little Nougat House”, where he captures scenes of rare intimacy. The protagonists here are his pre-adolescent niece and nephew who appear deeply engrossed in themselves and, in a new iteration of the Hansel and Gretel story, intent on devouring the house they inhabit.
Diego Moreno’s “Guardians of Memory” is a collection of portraits of panzudos (folk monsters) in domestic settings. This follows a Catholic tradition marked by a pre-Hispanic influence, an event that takes place every year during the La Merced celebration in the Mexican province of Chiapas. Dressed as unpleasant figures, the devotees hope to purge their sins according to a peculiar motto: the uglier you appear, the purer you will become.
An altogether different aesthetic ideal is explored by Elisa Gonzáles Miralles in “Wannabe”. Hung from a wrought iron poster bed in the guest room are close-up shots of Japanese Baby dolls – latex human size dolls ordered from a catalogue – alongside portraits of Japanese women who imitate that aesthetic The women dress, make up and even undergo plastic surgery to that end. As the curator Jesús Micó points out, “this is a strange tale of the realistic dolls and the Japanese teenagers who both imitate one another”, perhaps telling the tale of the subjugation of women elsewhere.