five invisible haikus

five invisible haikus
InSite / Casa Gallina
DF, México
Curated by Osbaldo Sanches

This project was developed at InSite/Casa Gallina in the neighbourhood of Santa Maria de la Riviera in Mexico City. For a period of 2 and a half years I collaborated with Ian Pasaran, a 33 year old blind man who worked, back then, in Pro-ciegos, an Institute for visually impaired people in Mexico City. This public institute provides all sorts of workshops and simultaneously acts as a meeting place. Back then Ian, worked in the store of Pro-ciegos were I met him. Ian, also works (now and then) in a company that hires him to evaluate food. He is a sensorial evaluator. The company he works at, trained him so he could taste and evaluate food products before they reach a mass market. Knowing this, I invited Ian to translate 5 abstract sensations into flavours. These 5 abstractions were: light, distance, space, time and affection. He agreed to collaborate with me (after 2 years of working together we have become close friends).

We contacted a company called Bell that specializes in creating flavours to help us in the task. Ian meets with Bell´s team numerous times until the 5 flavours were created. These 5 flavours were made into candies. Once the candies were ready, Ian and I decided it could be interesting to created sculptures inspired by these five candies. The idea gave us possibility of playing with clay and making shapes as we tasted the candy and spend time together. We were not sure where this was going, but, since we really liked the result, we decided to make these abstract shapes into bronze. The 5 candies had a shape now. I was really interested in erasing the visual image out of these shapes by creating a horizontal experience equal to all audiences. So I decided to create boxes were only the one hand could reach the bronze shapes and touch them. Fingers are eyes too. The tongue is an eye too.

We showed the boxes with a little bag filled with the candy that inspired the shape. These 5 boxes were showed at Pro-ciegos patio for a week at regular hours. Everyone from the neighbourhood was invited to try them out. We had 3 blind volunteers that guided visitors to these boxes explaining the genesis of the work and why the candy and the shape inside the boxes. Visitors were free to make their own conclusion regarding which of the 5 concepts belonged to each of the boxes. The shapes inside will never been seen or photographed.