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Nancy Zastudil and Margarita Cabrera

Florezca, New Mexico
Posted on: September 18, 2011


Businesses have long protected their interests by way of incorporation – pooling resources and gaining protection against financial and legal risks. Florezca, founded by artist Margarita Cabrera, is a new corporation model that uses the branded multinational business as a platform to address concerns about globalization and its affects on labor rights and international communities. Challenging notions of incorporation and individual rights, Florezca follows traditional corporate structure by absorbing financial risks, distributing financial divids, and allocating cultural, economic, and legal resources to its members. Whereas the typical corporation seeks profit above all else, Florezca is founded on humanitarian principles, seeking first to empower its members through immersive art training and artisanal production, fair wages, and necessary legal protections.

Florezca will organize New Mexico art production teams of artists, students, immigrant laborers, and others to join Cabrera in making saleable artworks informed by regional, artisanal, and craft traditions in addition to current political and social issues. Participants collaborate with Cabrera on research and workshops, educating each other and public audiences and producing a group exhibition of regionally informed art objects. For example, past Florezca workshops have produced soft sculpture indigenous plants sewn from remnants of border patrol uniforms and embroidered with regional traditional imagery.

Building on Florezca’s production history, SPREAD will aid the materialization of this provocative model specific to New Mexico. Cabrera will work with local advocacy groups to identify the most pressing issues. Next, she will identify an international artist who will be sponsored by Florezca to come to the US and collaborate with the production teams to address those issues through workshops, exhibitions, and public programs. Zastudil and Cabrera will curate collaboratively, soliciting participants and identifying appropriate workshop/exhibition venue(s) relevant to regional labor issues (i.e. farm, factory, or similar production site). Zastudil will act as project administrator, securing institutional partnerships for all elements of the project.

Zastudil and Cabrera will collaborate on research concerning New Mexico’s historical and current political climate(s), arts, and economics. Ideally workshops will begin in mid 2012 with an exhibition planned for early to mid 2013. Zastudil is currently seeking additional partnering organizations for the project.

Florezca is a step towards protecting real sources of culture – people and their communities – by stimulating economies, raising awareness, and bringing about change for issues of artistic production, cultural traditions, labor rights, and border issues. Ranked the fifth poorest state in the US, New Mexico’s art economical situation begs for a new business model. Florezca is a model that offers support for our unique regional traditions, histories, arts, and people. The multifaceted nature of the project offers opportunities for educational public programming, providing a platform for discussion of today’s most pressing issues, with art at its progressive center.

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