The maguey, a significant symbol of identity, a historical witness that patiently observes the

passage of time; a monumental succulent that intoxicates, heals, nourishes, and also

protects. Not too long ago, agave walls and thatched roofs sheltered the homes of the

Mexican countryside, that countryside forever forgotten and forgotten again, trapped amidst

dust and dry land. Now, the walls and roofs of houses are made of concrete, blocks, and

steel rods, pursuing the ideals of promised progress. The maguey is also a sign and an

aesthetic model, for Sergei Eisenstein in his Viva México film, in the photographs of Manuel

Álvarez Bravo, another witness to time, for Agustín Jiménez, Tina Modotti, and so on, the list

is extensive.

Over time, the maguey has also left the Mexican countryside, it has moved to the city (or the

city has encroached upon it), and now it lives among bridges, avenues, parks, and medians,

amid cars, trucks, trash, wrappers, and cans. It also serves as a coat rack and clothesline. For

passersby, there is always the temptation to leave a mark on one of its leaves, some inscribe

messages of love or heartbreak, confessions, or simply to fulfill an aesthetic inspiration.

There are also advertisements, direct messages, and threats. The maguey is now not only a

symbol of the Mexican countryside but also of the big city. It now shares the dust kicked up

by trucks, the exhaust fumes, and the noise of honking horns with the palms, trees, and

shrubs that adorn the city streets, and it waits, alongside the others, for the perennially

delayed rains.

Photographing the maguey carries a high risk, it implies immersing oneself in a long tradition

and rubbing shoulders (or attempting to) with all those who have already been there. Pablo

López Luz’s Maguey, in dialogue with some of his other projects, reinterprets and

embraces the great symbol of identity at a time when symbols and identity seem to have

been forgotten.