In La Rosa (2020) artist Manuela García offers an intimate portrait of a bakery –which gives name to the work—and its workers. La Rosa constitutes a sort of island that survives in the middle of an increasingly gentrified urban landscape. Situated in the heart of Santa María la Ribera, a neighbourhood located in downtown Mexico City, the bakery originally took its name from one of the corners of the street in which it is located (before La Rosa and Cipres, today Eligio Ancona and Torres Bodet). The building that houses the business is an old house constructed in 1880 during the period known as Porfiriato. In the mid-19th century, two brothers coming from Asturias, Spain founded the bakery teaming up with two Mexicans born in Jalacingo and Progreso in the state of Veracruz, who migrated to the capital as a result of a rural-urban exodus largely set off by an array of agrarian reforms and state reconfigurations.
Today, the real estate boom in the neighbourhood threatens the future of the workers and the possibility of a double displacement is becoming more and more latent. In the last years, the native inhabitants have witnessed important changes in the neighbourhood’s character and culture resulting from the gentrification process. The transformation has been the result of market speculation and the implementation of urban policies since 2013 geared towards replacing working-class residents by middle-class newcomers. In the work, García offers a fragmented depiction of the bakery, where different scales unfamiliar to traditional documentary coexist; macro shots of the characters in their daily life are superseded by close-up views of small details without apparent meaning. The game of scales responds to the fact that the artist does not seek to offer the spectator a full understanding of what is portrayed, but rather suspend the viewer in the present inviting them to see with and along others.
Manuela García graduated in Visual Arts in the National University of Colombia. She was part of the specialization in Visual arts by the Academia di Belle Arti di Brera, Milan. Between 2012-2014 she accomplished the educational program in artistic practice of SOMA, Mexico. Her work was been exhibited in places such as Museo del Chopo; Temporary Gallery; National Gallery of Arts Tirana; Museo de la Ciudad de Mexico; Museo de Antioquia; Plomo Galería, among others. Among her upcoming exhibitions are Instructions for a Feminist City in Aronson Gallery, NY and Landscapes of Abstraction in Real Academia de España in Rome. She has also been recently commissioned a work by Fringe Projects in Miami. García currently resides and works in Mexico City.