Nerium: art, culture and reflection Issue 3

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Nerium: art, culture and reflection 2nd Year, Issue: 3, November 2020 Mexico E-mail: Co-director and lead editor: Roberto Guzmán Reynaga Co-director and Coordinator: Ileana Paola Sánchez Guadarrama Cover page and design: Roberto Guzmán Reynaga ISSN: In process All Mesoamerican glyphs used along this issue come from traditional usages gathered at Enciso, Jorge. Design motifs of ancient Mexico. México: editorial Innovación, 1947. Couatl (Snake) from Piedras Negras, Veracruz Itzcouatl (Flint-snake) from Mexico City Chicahuastli (Rattle-stick) from Mexico City Floral stamp from Ocotlán, Oaxaca Xonecuilli (blue worm/Ursa Minor constellation) from Oaxaca Ocelotl (jaguar) from National Valley, Oaxaca Huitziloxochitl (Hummingbird on flower) from Yucatán

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

In this issue

Gonxtruf Instagram:



Gilda FLawan


Uku TL: https:// ukutloficial

INDEX G onxtruf : “El Onbre” unchained




What we never expected to live


Natural Resistance in Pandemic 1


The paradox meaning



Letter to the editor We are what is left from the world we use to know, much has been ventured about the immediacy of a very moment that brought us captivity; nevertheless, truth be told, lockdown, social distance and moreover pandemic were not surprising events. The search for a human’s responsibility scapegoat

over its current conditions compels us gazing upon the night sky at a sought balm for our doleful realization and it returns naught but the great solitude we already suffered. Still we ignore the possible outcomes, however from this far corner of the world let us claim a silver lining down in Pandora’s Box stowed in recovering our apparently forgotten humanity. Our despair leads us to the art and the people among us, we stare

at the yet concealed mysteries remaining in plain sight: at the mirrors gaze and within the unfathomable depths of our being once the outside bellow is long gone. Amid the silence we find a forgotten story murmur and colors formerly overshadowed by artificial lights reveal an iota of the scars we carry. Art’s old purpose emerges to keep us human and declare: “here is the human”.

Our editors

Gonxtruf: “El Onbre� Unchained


There is no such thing as certainty about creative pro-

cess, yet one thing to get in mind once diving in artistic sensibility is that subjectivity bear fruit for all kind of proposals, thus making impossible to prove a right formula for art rather than the very impulse to create; one

giving fresh air to daily life and




mechanized life. Given perspective challenge us to a frightening ampleness

to answer the gaze to an abyss long time laying its sight on us; therefore creativi-

share with humanity that inner-

ty ardently emerges within

most fire. Unchained Prometheus

the artist always willing to

extends his hand inviting us to

Gonxtruf: “Chut yur Chot” explore the soul’s depths as never done before, brand new eyes, and

brand new fire.


As much as art renews human’s full-self-recognition capability, thus the artist confronts the world in search for reigniting such strange fire making prey of him and takes him to melt this world’s bounds. Gonxtruf artwork resembles to aforementioned relentless rekindle, memento, reverie and defying process to find a juxta-

posed sense from chaos. One true multifaceted artist as Gonxtruf constantly shows us upon his art-work the very human soul metamorphosis and its faces unmasked to the world. Explosive and enigmatic compositions leading us to experience the creative process wildness as it is: a course where the very road re-

veals to Gonxtruf piece by piece its final consequence; game, experiment and flexibility identifies the creative bliss with fine fluke among “stiles at first I didn’t know how to do”. Nevertheless, the

artist prevents us from unchained creative process comes with its mishap on uncharted grounds, even as Gonxtruf points out with his droll sense of humor gather from perspective: “a disadvantage is that I can turn making a mess, already happened before”. Modern pace imposes a complex line for artists, a game in both:

merchandise and transcendence, leading him to produce a double and coexistent phases in odd symbiosis for modern-day survival.


Costumer’s focused productions takes Gonxtruf through diversions achieving freelancer artists’ collaborations due to methodic restless communication and joint work processes on-demand projects to be “snazzy as they want”, without losing his personal touch which actually makes Gonxtruf commercial art-works little disso-

ciate from his personal creative productions. Cheekily Gonxtruf shows his colors in two-ways discourses: the purpose and the mischief fit together in a fused reference expect-

ing to emerge as plain sight hidden significance. In many means Gonxtruf art-work immerse us in a world’s allegory and its dangers while we try to reach such significance veiled in neon cloak; a

baroque impetus overflowing references and value features, or meanings condensed approaches through minimalist exposures. Gonxtruf expressions comes loaded on diverse techniques from

photomontage and collage deranging perspectives into surreal visions; although this arouses as an irregular process, in fact Gonxtruf explores, retreats and returns to certain topics for better com-

prehension. Among this frequent scopes we find, undoubted, masculinity, as much as deconstructed and reshuffle human being’s homoerotic sensuality constructed upon a new surreal frame, re-

sult: “el Onbre”.

Gonxtruf: “El Onbre” Unchained


Gonxtruf: Gunter TVR Wide clear to us coronavirus pandemic took its toll for everyone; yet from Gonxtruf’s artistic perspective he claims his actual state as collateral damage, ever since his earnings came from designs for

other artist which suddenly lose their work means; such condition directly affected artist like Gonxtruf whom pandemic significantly depleted. Further economic implies, psychologic aftermath becomes particularly complex due to depression continuous stalking added to risk and fear implied in pandemic circumstances.

However there is a silver lining for artist, since Gonxtruf asserts this season also brought a creative kick as horoscope: finding himself among old loves and new insights; pandemics has

lead him to show new experiments and new techniques as much as reappraise old projects, anyway labor isn’t ideal, the thrill and creativity








“unpracticed doughs rots”; plus he shows how this creative craze meant an outstanding tool to overcome some serious gloom times.



Insomnia Days come when slumber goodness forsakes me. I don’t know. Days when the world seems distant and impossible, as if it were an absurd phantasmagoria, others may know the truth, perhaps. Fifty years passed away and seems taken from a nighttime tell, happiness long yearned in the youth wakefulness as tactile as can be; so close at hand, so existent in the present: family, job, life, an opus and a clear purpose in this world, such an old reverie. Time I pilgrimage in my barge over elusive and irrevocable streams; I found it significant, so plenty, so dreamed. Still I ignore how I arrived and from each dream one must awake. Maia calls upon the tempestuous horizon, requires me to dream one more day among her misty weave, she asks me to dream of sea and its damp breeze soaking my visage; she asks for me to dream with a life of

delusions, some others to attend. She compels a dream of a soil in my hands and its thick life brimming forests caressing, lively flourishing derange annihilation in its tide of reborn and sprout. A dream of an endless world is asked, reining the silver flame over its mysteries, a monumental and concealed fathom remembers my

Tale name in whispers while I slumber. The pale ember appeases with its placid sway the pelting vehemence in the high meadows freshness, lulling the world in its distant murmur language, likewise

to life in its gestures array; shining each in cerulean nocturnal cloaks. Do the thousand names dweller summons to its empyreal, by the intoxicating doze plummeting eyelids into unfathomable abysses of inconceivable worlds. I dread the promise and evocation from the depths, yet dread

even more to awake in a stranger’s dream; to walk into delirium of losing the power containing me in this vision. Dread draws to the sea, to warm, placid sand on the rim of the horizon to unintelligible worlds only describable in dwams where slumber is unbearable. There I throw myself into the fierce sea maws ignoring how to command my path in its surge; only a bold albatross followed the reckless stranded. Here I am amid the tempest, along the bird of my extrication nav-

igating the gales in greater dexterity than the tremulous body lingering the waves, afraid to sleep once and for all; fever boils through the noxious desire to lay in eternity and not conciliating a bond to transmute its humble nature. Fifty years will be gone once I dream of another reality.

Nihuitzi: Insomnia


Galore eclipsed lives, hitherto I had gazed through such other world amongst the sea, alas a haste fractal of promises vanished as the breath returns to me in bed beyond a place I can’t recall my arrival from a hollow night of strive, insane howl and relinquish; here I am upon the world’s sixth mundane tower chained to a

doubt cleft on my chest: a life, a dream and eternal bewilderment

Gilda FLawan.

What we never expected to live To all people who struggle, strived and keep aiding so we all blissfully arrive home safe and sound to start a new life Thank you to each and every one who give everything for us: medical, staffs, cooks, cleaning services, police, MEU, pharmacists, and all those tirelessly working to keep us supplied. What may be the worst thing a human can deal with? Indeed, to be isolated day to day from people whom you need the most to keep moving forward. First a virus threats the whole world and we must to lock down; but the outbreak goes step by step rather than do a

single strike among the most visited countries It all started in a far city in China, unknown to everyone, then moves to Italy. North side: the preferred touristic location. Since brutally flogged Italy is close to Spain, my hometown, Madrid, runs the same luck; many traveled visited North Italy, hence it becomes

an epicentrum for the virus. Alas Ciudad Condal, Barcelona, and then panic begin. A 15 days lockdown they decree. Expectation commences, clung to TV news channels, radio, internet, we want to know it all; yet nobody warns what is to come. Each day coming on is getting worse, we robotically follow it all stuck to TV.


Once noticed of the first closer people departed you realize: this can happened to anyone, we are all vulnerable. You hear from the elderly, soon any age are in danger; for many the world hasn’t been fair, they had a whole live ahead. Sudden come the fear far from any explanation. You attempt to understand what happens, you must respond to those surrounding you; life shows different colors while you try to plan somehow, not to forget we all are lockdown. Then a brilliant idea: applause at 10 pm, we all do come out at the windows, to the balconies and applaud while struggling the tears. Instead you look around and rat-

ify everyone is doing the same; nevertheless we find nobody is familiar. Day to day life made that happened. Days gone by and something is wrong, the hard fighting Health services are the first in line against the virus; however they lack enough materials to provide care to all of us. “This cannot be, is

this real?” they all are fully set heads to toe, they are our angels, our strength, and the only hope to family and friends left in emergencies. They are whom we forlorn reach claiming to save them; in

such moments those “angels” are the only around for their very last breathe, while they feel life simply abandoning.


Thousands and more families clung to any device in search for their relative’s status, among such chaos the lone call is to tell you they are gone. At that very moment the voice across the line fades, hesitates while update you. Doctors, nurses, the whole health staff cries as if were their own family; even more anyone will be able to properly bid them farewell. Keep up struggling, went to your window at 8pm, many children join to cheer our angels, realizing who are standing the ground; all the anonymous health systems’ personnel, people we daily saw, yet never recognized as supermarket staff now exposed as much as any from health sector. Insufficient information leads people to swarm the stores to consume. Mistake! Fear takes them all to first line contagion; they never figure out and went out re-

mote-controlled for some more panic-shopping. Unconscious from what they have just done, yet fridge and pantries are overstocked, overflown, as bodies do in viral loads. Thinking scarcity was the issue. What a mess. Virus goes spreading to anyone around, the beloved ones; they were not prepared

and used to avoid touching their faces pushing even more viral load.

Gilda FLawan: What we never expected to live


As contagion numbers arises, Hospital’s emergencies rooms collapses; once again panic and uncertainty rules our life. Finally people realize the issue’s measure once death tolls add a zero. Lockdown went serious too late, now only last to wait and see. First signs appears, they fear to tell and reach the hospital to never see the family again; yet they must, many don’t live by their own and drop the bomb: “I think I have some signs” as already parting from them. Unnoticed, dread reflects in their relative’s eyes, still unaware of that else monster growing within, one they must deal with on their own. World stands still while something

inside belonging to anyone but oneself is set to loose; time has come to struggle and endure. May many burn in fever, however hospitals are overwhelmed. A simple recipe is told by phone: “paracetamol each 8 hours, if turns worse then come to emergencies”. Fear never leaves, taking us,

fogging us; we cleave into little gadgets praying while four numbers rises. Heart rushes as it increases and panic whispers to your ear: “you are going to die”, lone catastrophic thoughts domain. Fe-

ver, ailment, sadness and more outnumbers any will to live and thrive; grief has overflown tarnishing the world.

Its 8 pm, neighbors cheering again on the other side, yet many can’t join or even rise their arms; tomorrow will be strong enough to do it they may think. Once fever yields many people light up their tiny rooms, something new, brighter, appears and pushes them to tell the family that those four digits won’t show the

feared ones, rather a soothing 7 shows and seems like life provides them one other chance. Good old insight makes you cherish the simple things, life is beautiful again and one is willing to stick in it, no matter what; since we need that feeling is the sole thought in mind: “to live”. So

what now? What is next? May I get outdoors with my kin? So many doubts and so little know what to do, but going by medical instructions often following up by phone. First thing said: “you

see, we can’t give you a test since the few ones are meant for sanitary personnel and major centers staff, but let’s keep with the lockdown protocol”. Again insides twist unaware from what might be or why; yet one must keep moving forward. Then you notice, your life entirely depends from the people on the

dorm-room’s other side and your day to day come to be the same


every day; yes your alive, but dead inside, apart from your beloved ones. First week is all cheer and joy, you just survive the virus and feel lucky being on healed rates rather than deaths; however daily struggle becomes a routine: boredom, cloistered, sadness and the else nameless. Don’t bother setting an alarm clock, there is absolutely nothing intended, just waking up, giving a “hello” and clinical status to your relatives and doctors when called. They give signs of life, rises the blind, open a window to aerate the rooms, bathroom, outdoors and texts you to notice you they are wide awake ordering anything for

breakfast. Minutes later one person disposed to services appears, they rejoice for a few and the door shuts; start a new day: it’s loneliness and you. Time travels inchmeal among four walls; on the other side meals are careless spend the same anytime at evening, 2pm, 5pm, they

will sleep late-night anyway; look around, nothing has ever changed. That old book stills on the nightstand, unopen next to a walking pharmacy, avoid relapse don’t drop those. Pick that mo-

bile, catch on WhatsApp, tons of groups: family, friends, dance class, chant, painting class, work, neighbors… it all repeats over


and over; memes, hopeful songs, cheer everywhere. Facebook, maybe, more and the same but add people fighting after politics —come on, are this for real? After four weeks on lockdown we learned nothing— human beings are always the same. After double-checking everything keeps the same, shut every-

thing and hit the remote, see what’s up on TV. Coronavirus, change and the same keep changing —sh—, again. Screw the TV, get the tablet: Netflix, —in mood for— swipe the list and wonder: “up for some crying?” —rather not— “a little laughing?” —love to, but the effort would make me cuff— “something scary?” —nope, even more now we’re alone. Nice talking to themselves, but not quite, now their old companion “solitude” has become a common friend.

Is time for dinner, outside the dorm room they know the routine, soon there will be an open door and food, their hearts rushes again for a little while. Dorm room opens, they stare giving you the best smile they can offer, the one thing they can provide by now; you notice them lost and confused, a mere smile back: “don’t

worry you are doing just fine, it’s ok”, again the ill cheer up their beloved. 16 breakfasts, meals and dinners alone already passed;

Gilda FLawan: What we never expected to live


at some point the common friend becomes more tangible. Sitting by the bed, clueless, staring at old pictures of love, friends, family, places seen and enjoyed, so on. You break to tears, unnoticed, missing that persons’ warm, a hug, a caress, a kiss, being together talking, laughing, arguing, cooking. Such little things hurting the

most, one can’t live without them. Feelings mix —God, head plays its games with you and they are so vulnerable—; yet something grows within them concealed, you still want to protect them and they ignore it, an incomprehensible omen. People keep surprising you —for better and worse— once again

figure who will remain among them, and who won’t. Sad but true, something catastrophic must happen to realize. Bedtime, just eyes wide shut trying to rest, but they restlessly place on Facebook

again before noticing, thousands going through the same: insomnia —my, my, this is going insane, but the worse will be trying get back to normal life. New day arrives, checking it up laying in bed, this is no dream; they became the lead in the scene, everything has changed, they are the fighters, they keep on struggling to sur-

vive a virus scourging their lives and wait. Movies’ happy ending is still uncertain.

Thousands may wonder: “you think we would ever change? Would we ever be better?”. From my window I can tell: we won’t. The very first week will be all hugs to folks, kin, beloveds, friends and love as no tomorrow. We’ll get back to work, normal activities, being cautious from crowded places and keeping distance from the unknown. One week and it’s all, we’ll get back to former customs, maybe a little better —especially those who got sick—. A fact wide clear is that a second chance and all that cloister worth

learning something about oneself; maybe we shall cherish once again all that was taken from us for a while; we may wake up in a tiny room that might be the very first day to live. By now we may open the door, giving the same old smile for the same past 30 days; it all worth giving for them.


Natural Resistance in Pandemic 1 Uku TL

shows through


painting the other hand of pandemic scene and artists imply upon social matters. Here Uku TL recalls to Shipibo Conibo resistance, a na-

tive people settled in the Peruvian capital’s very heart within Lima City since 2000 in search for Peruvian Government recognition; thus Uku TL’s “Natural resistance in pandemic 1” exposes how coronavirus pandemic intensified modern societies



Therefore as head director of the homonym workshop “Taller Uku TL” he has joined to numerous ac-

tivists, artists, cultural managers and Cantagallo Shipibo Conibo’s

Uku TL: Natural Resistance in Pandemic 1 Technique: mixed, acrylic and flourescent spray on cardstock paper

Uku Tl: Natural Resistance in Pandemic 1


people cause supporters efforts to spread this community perspective. Moreover Uku TL attempts to draw attention on Ship-

ibo Conibo’s most fundamental requirements at the pandemic circumstance and lack of sufficient support from public politics. His art-work exposes a clear influence from Shipibo Conibo’s iconography: the “Kené” fused to a visual transgression proposal; thus he transparent criticizes the political and sanitary conditions of insufficient accessible and quality hospital care means for Shipibo Conibo. Nevertheless Uku TL exposes alike this community’s remaining hope and strength to overcome the new life conditions imposed due to pandemic. Furthermore Uku TL stands his art-work beyond the aesthetic proposal, yet as window to reality and appraiser exercise for societies and politics from social resistances’ perspective which raises social inclusion and sympathy causes to

cultures and people like Cantagallo Shipibo Conibo’s people who significant contributed to build the Peruvian identity through their cultural heritage.

Hence reminding modern societies historical debt to whole native people, one matter highlighting the independent associations

involvement relevance in gathering funding and assistance for this community through diverse social and cultural actions; such endeavors aiming to aid satisfying this vulnerable community fundamental needs



The paradox of meaning Talking about a sense of life and death may appear paradoxical; nevertheless is an open question without a right answer, each gaze implies a particular perception either religious, scientific, or spiritual. Different versions work

for each one; although life in some other way, one crude version, may appear as a lingering death. Anyhow explained










responding to human’s fundamental desire via gaining recognition although aware it’s unable to gather actual eternity it becomes a person’s

anguish safe shelter. Besides is it possible life might be about stop expecting for something beyond at the end? What if life itself arises as the very reward, without time, prizes and delusions?


Omashtia: CempasĂşchitl

“I have heard what the talkers were talking the talk of the beginning and the end, But I do not talk of the beginning or the end

There was never any more inception than there is now, Nor any more youth or age than there is now; And will never be any more perfection than there is now, Nor any more heaven or hell than there is now.�

Walt Whitman Song of myself III

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