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Margaret Horning (35) and Cody Umans (32)

Our collaborative art practice explores visual art and social engagement. Using found ma- terials from different parts of Mexico City, our goal is to collaborate with the public by designing installations that invite play, resource sharing, and art as a catharsis. Our work interweaves the concepts of mutual aid, abolishing hierarchical constructs, and returning power to the people.

There are three components of this exhibition, all of which we encourage you to interact with.

The first component is a free store. Included is a manifesto on what a free store is and how one could start and maintain one if they wish. Included are seeds to pollinator plants, books, art supplies, candies, condoms, covid tests, and more. Please feel free to take or share any items. We do not accept money at the free store. In sharing resources freely with one another we can waste less, need less, and promote the concept of solidarity over charity.


The second component is an interactive mural based on the Oyamel Fir in which we have placed monarch butterflies we constructed, our main inspiration for this piece, that each have a message under their wings. These messages include personal memories, facts and resources that prove environments improve when we choose people and nature over politicians and police. We encourage the audience to pick up the butterflies, to play with them, and to take note of what they say.


Community building and making art accessible to all is an integral part of our art practice. When applying to El Sur it was suggested to us that we host workshops at a local cancer recovery center called Nuestra Señora de Lourdes. The third and final piece of our installa- tion is a free artwork shop set up the same way. Using recycled materials is an intentional choice to show how accessible art can and should be.


We invite you to use these tools to share part of your story and add it to the other butter- flies. You can draw a memory, a favorite food/music/plant/animal from where you are from, or anything else you feel comfortable sharing. When art is used as an emotional release it humanizes us and brings us closer as a community. Included in the free art workshop is a manifesto on what one is and how it could be organized. In addition, we have made a sep- arate manifesto for future El Sur residents that want to see the free artwork shops continue at Nuestra Señora de Lourdes.

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