Mary Teresa Giancoli

Mary Teresa Giancoli

Mary Teresa Giancoli

Cuetzalan

7 x 7 inches
24 pages
Soft cover
Published by Blurb

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From the Artist

Cuetzalan features  color images of the women weavers and life around the Feria de Huipil festival in Puebla, Mexico, the region that sends the most migrants to the New York area. Giancoli visited women in their homes and small businesses in rural Mexico to capture their traditions and daily life. She melds a documentary style with a fine art tradition using the square format image.

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Mary Teresa Giancoli is a New York based photographer with a deep interest in exploring Hispanic and Spanish culture. Giancoli has exhibited her work in Mexican culture in solo exhibitions featured in solo exhibits at the UAM Atzcapotzalo, Mexico City, Universidad Iberoamericana Puebla, Mexico, St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY, El Museo Francisco Oller y Diego Rivera, Buffalo, NY and over 60 group exhibits.
Catherine Kirkpatrick is a writer and photographer living in New York City."

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In 24 pages, Mary captures captivating moments of women. The book itself has only 16 photographs, yet there is something in them that tells a short, yet revealing story of womanhood.

The first image in the book, which is also the cover photo portraits a young woman gazing forward towards something we, the audience, can not see. She looks scared in some way, and royal in another. The caption informs us that this is a Huipil Queen, in the parade around the city. I myself had to read a little about the ritual learning that the young girls compete in honor of the Flower Goddess, the girl who wins, gets carried through town while dancing and celebration happen in the city. By mary’s words from the essay : “...Then [after the winner is chosen] the indigenous voladores (flyers) climb a tree pole and, tied by their ankles, soar backward into the air….”

I find this image striking duo to the girls expression. I almost can’t tell if she is sad, happy, anxious, nervous or maybe all of these combined.

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Another photo I wish to emphasise is ‘Joaquina Diego walking though the coffee fiels, Cuetzalan, Mexico”. I see a lady walking in a mass of green, wearing white traditional dress. She is almost completely devoured by this greenery. You can not see her face in this photo, she is walking away from you. I can not fully explain why I find this image important to me, but I can just say it is.

I feel as if the books is exploring a heritage, a culture Mary herself belongs to in some way or another. It is both a celebration of the traditions, yet also its examination. There is a sense of specific place in the images, yet it’s almost hard to place it in any specific time or era. Using a soft and gentle view, she looks into the lives of these women, not looking at them, but looking with them at their daily routines, traditions and homes.  There is a sense of community amongst these women, allowing Mary to enter their bond and share their stories.

She allows these women to take on all their roles at once , if it is the Queen,  the mother, the worker, the wife, the mother or the caregiver. They represent the past future and present of both their culture and ours.

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