The exhibition GUATELAMA: A Territory of Many Trees is a visual dialogue between two young emerging Guatemalan artists—Juan José Estrada and Clara de Tezanos—about life in Guatemala today.
In the series All Woman are Maria, Clara de Tezanos examines the tension between the historically accepted ideal feminine and the reality of being a woman in a Latin society. An exploration of the relationship between the so-called "society" young women and Maria, the Virgin—each woman is photographed in her environment—such as the house she lives in, the room where she sleeps and the kitchen where she cooks. The tension between the ideals of being an adequate woman in Latin society and a liberal contemporary reality filled with possibilities, opportunities and independence creates tension in each woman’s life. This series is an outcry, a belief in these entrapped role’s these women feel culturally submerged too and the artist belief in their potential to break free.
Juan José Estrada Toledo documents in the series Utopía remote places in Guatemala, up in the mountains where life is yet to be disturbed by any of the activities that happen in the city. In these places, the artist finds that the people live in a land where pristine nature, fresh air, clean water and great soil for farming are available, yet all they talk about is what happens“over there”. Over there means the US. They all have stories about family members and friends that have made it, others that have not; some are dead, some disappeared, some have tried more than five times to make the journey. For more than a year, Juan José has been photographing these villagers who seek to define the “over there” without ever having traveled to the US. This series explores there lationship between these people, their land and their dreams.