New cultural center, for the claim of Uruapan

Tomorrow opens the Starting Point exhibition. Fashions, intrigues and textiles in the new Fábrica de San Pedro cultural center, in Uruapan, Michoacán, a new space that is committed to defending a region famous for violence, through “sensitivity and culture”, explains to EL UNIVERSAL the artist Javier Marín, who with his foundation has rehabilitated this site.

The exhibition, curated by Ana Elena Mallet, covers the history of the textile industry in the region, but also seeks to give a glimpse of the future in this field. The visit is divided into three nuclei, the first is a documentary, which deals with the history of the site – which was a spinning factory at the end of the 19th century – with documentary material and original pieces, such as the spinning machines original spinning.

In the second nucleus is the time of Uruapana Looms, a project that moved to the factory in 1956 and with which the municipality became an “international design center” that provided designers such as Charles and Ray Eames , Alexander Girard, Herman Miller, Mallet points outside. You can see dresses by designers like Josefa Ibarra, an important figure of the 1960s, or tapestries by Leopoldo Castillo.

The third core presents 150 fashion designs, created for this exhibition by 50 Mexican designers — such as Armando Takeda, Carla Fernández and Francisco Cancino — based solely on cotton blankets. This section aims to take a look at the future of traditional textiles.

“The region has a history with this textile, before the Viceroyalty, the Purépechas were already working on cotton blankets. Later, cambaya cotton was a very important production in the region. Now the cotton blanket is used by major fashion houses and designers as a sketch before the final piece,” says Mallet.

The sculptor Javier Marín, who through his foundation restored and allowed the San Pedro factory to create this new cultural place, seeks to justify Uruapan’s bad reputation for violence.

The historical property was previously private property, then the municipality bought it and it was thanks to a renewable usufruct that the Javier Marín Foundation was able to create the space. The artist explains that conservative architects and restorers took part in the restoration and that there was also an architectural intervention by the architect Mauricio Rocha, to adapt residence-workshops for the artists.

The pandemic has impacted the design of the Center and inspired it to explore new models of exhibition and cultural management, such as the inclusion of gastronomic proposals and contemporary art, say Mallet and Marín.

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