mantillas. The weepers.
14 pieces, from the work The Weepers
From the cathalogue of the exhibition, part of the text by the Curator Tomás Rodríguez:
"Professional wailers always played a vital role in relation to emotional blockages. These women, who are normally hired, are not only a vehicle to heighten the pain of grief and the ritual staging of the importance of the deceased, but also to channel relatives’ pain. Their sobbing encourages others to let their pain out by providing them with a mirror in which to see themselves.
Contrary to what some might imagine, the wailers do not fake pain, nor do they con people with crocodile tears. Their role is closer to that of tragic actors from Ancient Greece, when tragedy was a ritual representation to pay tribute to Dionysus, who was an important god for women. Dionysus was linked to the idea of resurrection and sacred madness. In a sense, the wailers’ violent staging of pain and weeping fits with what Aristotle identified as the key elements of tragedy: mimesis (imitation) and catharsis (purification). Their empathy works as a genuine incarnation of Pathos (emotion) that they experience as their own pain, thus affecting mourners in a real sense and stimulating their grief. These women, who invariably wear black mantillas (the works magnify them on long and tremulous black shrouds), dramatize loss, turn it into something transcendental, cut through time and reveal the unalterable change that has occurred in our lives. "