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Home / Issue 35 / Artist Statement

Artist Statement

By Alexis Marie Ramos

Recetas, Remedios, y Raíces is a body of work dedicated to creating a visual space for people’s healing histories. Its focus is centralized around La Cocina and the many intricate roles women play as kitchen curanderas. My art explores the local culturas’ relationships with food, religion, folk medicine, and the women who pass on these traditions.

My art practice explores the borders where food and folk medicine blur. Drawing inspiration from being raised in el Valle del Rio Grande, the sculptures, installations, and paintings in this body of work illustrate the remedies used to treat culture-bound syndromes such as empacho, an intestinal blockage, that require a sobador, not a doctor. Western medicine cannot heal what it cannot understand, and many folk remedies are culturally exclusive to an area or its people. For example, mal de Ojo (Evil Eye) cannot be cured by an optometrist, and instead requires culturally relevant folk remedies.

Recetas, Remedios, y Raíces is about sharing knowledge with everyone and creating art with a purpose. There is a strange beauty in the magic of these everyday objects, and how they heal culture-bound folk ailments. By adding our own shared experiences to the academic narrative, thus preserving our legacy and showing that through our traditions we are a shared people.

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Mixed media installation

Dimensions variable

Protege del mal de ojo, especialmente para mujeres

embarazadas y niños pequeños. Seguritos offer

protection against lunar and solar eclipses and

malicious intent.

Pa las Quemaditas

Mixed media installation

Dimensions variable

Helps reduce skin bubbling and tissue scarring from

minor burns. As a regional staple it is conic in valley

kitchens and trusted above all others for cooking and healing.

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