Long a source of creativity and experimentation for artists and intellectuals in the twentieth century, Mexico has had a profound influence on contemporary art. Made in Mexico is the first exhibition to fully examine this influence through the diverse work of twenty international artists.
Long a source of creativity and experimentation for artists and
intellectuals in the twentieth century, Mexico has had a profound
influence on contemporary art. Made in Mexico is the first exhibition to
fully examine this influence through the diverse work of twenty
international artists. Organized by the Institute of Contemporary Art,
Boston, this groundbreaking exhibition contrasts the work of Mexican
artists with that of artists from around the world, investigating the
different ways in which these artists express their notion of the country,
its history, and the way it is viewed by the rest of the world.
Artists included in the exhibition are: Eduardo Abaroa (Mexico), Francis Alys (Belgium), Claudia Fernandez (Mexico), Andrea Fraser (U.S.), Thomas Glassford (U.S.), Erik Gongrich (Germany), Terence Gower (Canada), Andreas Gursky (Germany), Mona Hatoum (Palestine/Britain), Sharon Lockhart (U.S.), Teresa Margolles (Mexico), Yasumasa Morimura (Japan), Gabriel Orozco (Mexico), Damian Ortega (Mexico), Pedro Reyes (Mexico), Sebastian Romo (Mexico), Daniela Rossell (Mexico), Santiago Sierra (Spain), Melanie Smith (Britain), and Anton Vidokle (U.S./Russia).
Made in Mexico is organized into three broad areas of investigation. The first, Local Identities, addresses how contemporary artists such as Yasumasa Morimura (Japan), Sharon Lockhart (U.S.), and Mona Hatoum (Palestine/Britain) approach the essential characteristics of Mexican identity through popular imagery, cultural iconography, and traditional art forms. Japanese artist Yasumasa Morimura's self-portraits as Hollywood celebrities and famous women-including Frida Kahlo, whose famous paintings "Self-portrait with Monkey," (1938) and "Self-portrait as a Tehuana (Diego on my Mind)" (1943) are faithfully reconstructed-explore the complex relationships between identity, appropriation, and authorship.
Palestinian-born, London-based artist Mona Hatoum, who recently produced work in Mexico, has created a strong body of work that draws upon local curiosities, Mexican folklore, and traditional craftsmanship. El Pajaro de la Suerte (Fortune Telling Bird) (2002) and La Jaula Mexicana (The Mexican Cage) (2002), for example, represent Hatoum's interpretation of a popular street performance that takes place near the Shrine of Guadalupe.
In Mexican Modernisms, artists such as Anton Vidokle (U.S./Russia), Terence Gower (Canada), and Pedro Reyes (Mexico), explore European modernism within the context of Mexican architecture, design, and sculpture. Anton Vidokle, a Russian-born, New York-based artist, has been producing work in Mexico City since 2000, where he became fascinated with the social uses of modernist abstraction within Mexican society. Most recently, Vidokle has embarked on a multi-dimensional, collaborative artwork involving the re-painting of an architectural facade in the center of Mexico City at the Salto del Agua metro station. The result will be a short film entitled Nuevo (2003), which will have its premier at the ICA. The Canadian artist Terence Gower investigates the relationship between architecture and photography through a project entitled Functionalism (2003). In this work, Gower combines his interest in study photography, photo-murals, and Mexican Modernist architecture as a means of investigating an idealized vision of architecture as it relates to utopian building projects of the 1940s and 1950s.
The work of artists such as Andreas Gursky (Germany), Teresa Margolles (Mexico), and Daniela Rossell (Mexico) included in Social Spaces illustrates their key critical visions of the social and political situation in Mexico. Trained in forensic medicine, Mexican artist Teresa Margolles has been using death and decay as artistic subject matter for over 12 years. Since 1990, Margolles has worked collaboratively with SEMEFO (the acronym for Forensic Medical Service), a group of artists that investigates the aesthetics of death through disturbing sculptural installations. In recent solo projects, Margolles has turned her first-hand knowledge of death into a social and political protest against the prevalence of unclaimed bodies in Mexico City of victims who died from drug-related violence. Margolles's project for the ICA, En el aire (In the Air) (2003-2004), consists of bubble machines that contain used water from the morgue. For the artist, the metaphor of the bubble represents both the fragility of life and the soul of an individual while symbolically connecting the spectator to an everyday occurrence. Mexico City-based photographer Daniela Rossell entered the homes of some of the wealthiest women in this Latin American city and photographed them in their favorite rooms. Rossell's Ricas y Famosas (Rich and Famous) series, a mordant and amusing collection of photographs, highlights the baroque sense of adornment with which these women carry themselves and the pretensions of the supposedly upper-class.
Made in Mexico is accompanied by an exhibition catalogue produced by FDT Design, New York. The catalog includes an essay by Gilbert Vicario, Assistant Curator, The Institute of Contemporary Art, and interviews with several of the artists in the exhibition conducted by Pamela Echeverria, Curator, Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, Mexico City. After closing in Boston, the exhibition will travel to the UCLA Hammer Museum in Los Angeles where it will be on view from June 6 through September 12, 2004.
Image: Yasumasa Morimura, An Inner Dialogue with Frida Kahlo (Hand Shaped Earring), 2001 Courtesy of Luhring Augustine, New York
Major support for Made in Mexico has been provided by Altria Group. Additional support has been provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, Kenneth L. Freed, and La ColecciÃ³n Jumex. Special thanks to the Mexican Consulate in Boston/S.R.E.
Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, noon-5pm; Thursday, noon-9pm; and Saturday and Sunday, 11am-5pm.
image: Courtesy of Francis Alys
Media contact: Melissa Kuronen, 617-927-6617
The Institute of Contemporary Art
955 Boylston Street, Boston