By Lucero Lagarde
CONTEMPLO, a new, technified, immersive art space, is testing the limits of art at one of the most purposefully low-tech vineyards of Mexico, Viñedo Dos Búhos.
Dos Búhos has been mostly using manual farming practices in its organic vineyard as well as relying on the native natural yeast and ancient winemaking techniques to make the wine that top chefs around Mexico have been fighting over. ¨We love making wine that the public is surprised to taste. Now people can take away a new surprise of immersive art experiences in our little chapel,” says Michelle Aydelotte, the head winemaker.
CONTEMPLO is a result of a multiple year journey that involved the curator, Melanie Harris, bringing artists from around the world first to her galleries (Galeria Atelier & Polyglot Gallery- previously located at Fabrica La Aurora from 2004–2012).
“I think the idea has been materializing in my mind since the first time I sat in the Rothko chapel as a child. Not that CONTEMPLO is anything approaching that experience; it most likely stems more from Chemical Brothers meets Yayoi Kuzama meets Rafael Lozano Hemmer. It’s hard to define inspiration (or madness) but I feel that my life experience manifested this space and now I have to keep the ubiquitous farm dirt out of my laser projector filters,” explains Harris. “It holds so many layers of meaning and most of all symbolizes my deep admiration for the families who work this land as this is a space where we all come together to exchange ideas, seeds, and moments. I have helped activate this space as a school, as a cactus sprouting space, for graduation ceremonies, and as a seed drying space. I feel that this space and the whole, beautiful farm is an immersive experience in humility, passion and nature. I really want this space to test its limits and test my limits and take everyone out of their comfort zone because there are themes being addressed on this farm about sustainability and agriculture and libation that need to be elaborated on and art is a powerful tool for helping us humans to drill down deeper.”
Everyone involved in this project feels very passionately that human-induced climate change is real. A stated goal for the making of this space is for people to leave CONTEMPLO questioning the choices they make. There will also be an artist residency (CONTEMPLAMOS) that has the goal to make art that will truly provoke change and human connection with the Earth.
The official opening is on August 14, 2021 during the Viñedo Dos Búhos Vendimia (Harvest Festival) with an immersive installation by Victor Zapatero called “El Bosque.” The opening will be from 1–5pm with tickets to the Harvest Festival and the free general opening to the public will happen at night from 6–9pm by reservation only at www.contemplo.mx.