FROM THE 5TH MARDIN BIENNIAL ARTISTS ASUNCIÓN MOLINOS GORDO

Asunción Molinos Gordo (b. 1979, Guzmán, Spain) is a research-based artist strongly influenced by disciplines such as anthropology, sociology and cultural studies. The main focus of her work is contemporary peasantry. She has produced work reflecting on land usage, farmers’ strikes, bureaucracy on territory, transformation of rural labor, biotechnology and global food trade. Molinos Gordo won the Sharjah Biennial Prize 2015 with her project WAM (World Agriculture Museum) and represented Spain’s official section at the 13th Havana Biennial 2019. Her work has been exhibited at venues including V&A Museum (London), Delfina Foundation (London), ARNOLFINI (Bristol), The Townhouse Gallery (Cairo), Darat Al Funun (Amman), Cappadox Festival (Uchisar-Turkey), Museo Carrillo Gil (Mexico), MUSAC (León, Spain), CA2M (Madrid, Spain), among others.
 
Portrait credit: Osama Dawod
All images courtesy: the artist

ASUNCIÓN MOLINOS GORDO

SPAIN / EGYPT

El Fellah Ando Fes (The Peasant Has A Hoe), 2013.
Ink and graphite on paper, 24 cm x 33 cm each.

Asunción Molinos Gordo is a research-based artist strongly influenced by disciplines such as anthropology, sociology and cultural studies. The main focus of her work is contemporary peasantry. She has produced work reflecting on land usage, farmers’ strikes, territorial bureaucracy, transformation of rural labour, biotechnology and global food trade.

El Fellah Ando Fes (The Peasant Has A Hoe) explores the transformation of contemporary peasantry in Jordan. What we see is a calligraphic exercise that portrays the precaritisation of small farmers. Within the context of public schooling, calligraphy and grammar occupies a big place in the curriculum. Carrying out tasks of an idealised nature such as using a hoe, sleeping under the shade of a tree, or going for a ride on his horse, the figure of the small farmer or peasant is often used as an archetype for syntax exercises. The protagonist of this text negotiates a series of shifts from the privatisation of water to the introduction of open market policies that have led to the disruption of traditional farming practices. Consequently, the farmer is no longer able to ‘eat roast dove’, ‘get his daughter married’ or ‘build his house’.