ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – If you visit the National Hispanic Cultural Center during the next month, you may see artist Justin Favela lounging on a couch in the Visual Arts Building. This is Favela’s performance where he is resting for the entirety of Hispanic Heritage Month.
Favela has a designated space that was once a gift shop in the building for his “Reposo” performance. He will be resting at the museum during open hours from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. “I’m so excited to just like, relax,” said Favela.
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Favela, who is from Las Vegas, Nevada, said he was inspired to do the performance by his own personal experiences including his interest in the history and significance of “sleeping Mexican” souvenirs. “I thought, oh, I wanna do art about that stereotype. So for like five years, I was thinking about that and then a few years ago, I said, oh my gosh, I’m so tired, I’ve been doing back-to-back installations and I want to rest, but I can’t, I can’t find the time to do it,” Favela explained.
Favela said he also drew inspiration from labor culture in the United States. “Really this hustle culture is like embedded in everything. So this is a response to just being overworked and underpaid for the last decade,” he said. Favela said he reached a point earlier this year where he realized he needed to take time to rest. He hopes his performance encourages other people to take time for themselves.
“I hope they see that this is a ridiculous idea that I’m resting at a museum for the month. But to show people that prioritizing rest, prioritizing their mental health is important because I did have a moment earlier this year where I said I might have to be hospitalized for exhaustion,” Favela said.
Favela decided the way he could rest was to schedule it as a performance. “My body is shutting down, I have to restore myself, and that’s what this is about,” he said.
While at the museum, Favela will be available for casual visits with the public. If you do visit, Favela has a request, “please don’t talk about work when you’re in there. Don’t talk about my art.”
Favela brought some books, blankets, food, and his phone to make the space more comfortable and entertaining. He did invite guests to play a round of Mario Kart on his Nintendo Switch. “I just want to hang out, get to know folks and just like hang, you know, just rest,” he said.
This latest performance is one of the most simple ones Favela has put on. He typically makes large-scale installations and sculptures in the piñata style or medium. Click here to see some of his work.
More information about the National Hispanic Cultural Center can be found here.