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press: a drink of mezcal with doña goya is the work of art

The thai artist Rirkrit Tiravanija and Oaxacan Gregoria Cruz Peralta communicate through clay. The artist does not know Spanish and the potter does not speak English, but for two years they have been working together. Doña Goya has taught him to model clay as she was taught by her mother and her mother by her grandmother. "It's very nice, it's very precious," Peralta says. Behind her stands a small house of wood and black tiles built in the central hall of the Kurimanzutto gallery in Mexico City. Inside, an elongated table, clay bowls, mezcal and pulque; the smell of wood and alcohol. Tiravanija, in the half-light, serves drinks to the visitors. The encounter is the work of art.

The gallery, a luminous and stripped space, is compressed inside "la casita", as the artist calls it. The ceiling is low and the space is illuminated by candles placed on the table. It is warm. Tiravanija recreated to scale, in this spot in a traditional neighborhood of Mexico City, a house he knew up in the mountains, in Oaxaca. When he was shown that deteriorated stone construction, he looked for an "alibi" that would allow him to restore it. So he began to bake black tiles. Some remained in the mountains and others went down to the capital. Pulque, the artist spent more than two hours at one end of the house serving mezcal from a pot; at the other end was Kythzia Barrera, coordinator of the 1050º Cooperative, made up of potters from Oaxaca, Puebla and Chiapas, offering pulque.