Challenging the Alamo:
Evoking the Alamo past, present, and future, this year’s Bihl Haus Arts challenge to this cultural icon, titled “I was born here. Roses are yellow and the Alamo is a blood-tree,” retraces the individual and collective memory of the Alamo from a child’s point of view. There are no battles, no Alamo closeups, and no lines in the sand — “I Was Born Here” transports the audience to the Alamo’s beauty and spiritual potential as envisioned by the artists who developed this production. The love of the land is omnipresent, but from a woman’s most passionate and nurturing perspective. As at last year’s performance of “Remember El Alma” at Luminaria, this year’s multi-media multi-voice production that reclaims San Antonio’s most divisive symbol is blazing with talent.
Join us on THURSDAY, MARCH 24th, 6-9 pm for the live performance of I Was Born Here directed by Virginia Grise, opening reception for the site-specific installation by Deborah Kuetzpalin Vasquez, and screening of the film edited by Mirasol Riojas.
Titled “I Was Born Here,” the project, created by a stellar collaborating team of 11 powerful women, features a 5-part installation by Deborah Kuetzpalin Vasquez, a direct descendant of Toribio Losoya, a defender of the Alamo. Deborah’s work consists of 4 colossal niche-like installations, each adorned with a painted goddess tapestry that hangs within a constructed environment. On the East wall, the Child Goddess plays amid alphabet blocks that spell out ‘Texas Rangers,’ in her eye the reflection of a noose. On the South wall, the Mother goddess floats above a vintage dressing table strewn with ‘women’s things.’ On the West wall, the Curandera, the healer, hovers above the tools of her trade–herbs, potions, raw eggs, bells, candles. On the North wall is Tezkatlipoka, Memory, symbolized by blue, the color of the River Yanaguana—‘we carry our memory in our veins that flow like rivers through our bodies.’ In the center is a tiered purple altar, the color of strength and spirituality, which will be completed during the opening night’s performance.
The opening night multi-media performance centers on the prose-poem Remember El Alma written by Barbara Renaud Gonzalez and adapted for the stage by Virginia Grise, who directs an ensenble cast of four women–Marisela Barrera, Monique Cortez, Natalie Goodnow & Olupero Aiyenimelo--who will inhabit Deborah’s four built environments, accompanied by original music composed and performed by Rachel Cruz, PhD. The original film, edited by San Antonio native Mirasol Riojas (read more about her below), includes camerawork by Pocha Peña, and a charming performance by 6-year-old Inez Barrera, with additional photography by Joan Frederick.
To view the video invitation and to hear cantatriz Rachel Cruz, click here.
For more on some of the wonderful women who have worked so hard to make this production possible, please click here.