The myth of culture
Mitoculturalidad spanish for "The myth of culture" is a project that accounts for a strange conscience of foreignness, relative to the coming across not so much with a different culture but with a different notion of what culture is. This project is a product of a perplexity shared by Monica Herrera and Amanda Gutierrez –Mexican artists who have recently moved to Chicago–, derived from their experience within a society that processes plurality in a manner unknown to them. These works are bound together by a determination not to compromise with that set of mental routines anthropologists call “ethnocentrism”, which is put in motion every time we try to update a categorization of an “us” and “the others”. The game of mitoculturalidad is, then, located within the ambiguous plot of everyday life; it is an irreverent look at the artifices of every authenticity, at what is familiar about the foreign and foreign about the familiar. It is a bet placed, so to speak, not on what is permanent but on what is transient about our state of being. Hence, theirs is an attempt built upon the possibility of recovering astonishment, of knowing how to take a distance without incurring into interpretative harassment. In the end, however, mitoculturalidad conveys a joyfully critical will in regards to a totem of our times: what Spanish philosopher Gustavo Bueno has called the myth of culture as a substantive and supreme entity, as the secularized replacement of divine grace.