Artists: Francis Alÿs, ASMA, Zazil Barba, Fernanda Barreto, Javier Barrios, Miguel Calderón, Pia Camil, Marcos Castro, Paloma Contreras Lomas, Chelsea Culprit, Pablo Dávila, ektor garcía, Mario García Torres y Sol Oosel, Yann Gerstberger, Julieta Gil, Daniel Godínez Nivón, Romeo Gómez López, Cristobal Gracia, Clotilde Jiménez, Madeline Jiménez, Ángela Leyva, Yeni Mao, Noe Martínez, Melanie McLain, Josué Mejía, Berenice Olmedo, Fernando Palma, Tania Pérez Córdova, Rita Ponce de León, Jerónimo Reyes-Retana, Armando Rosales, Marco Rountre, SANGREE, Barbara Sánchez Kane, Guillermo Santamarina, Ana Segovia, Tercerunquinto, Tezontle
Venue: Museo Tamayo, Mexico City
Exhibition Title: OTRXS MUNDXS
Date: November 28, 2020 – March 28, 2021
Curated By: Humberto Moro and Andrés Valtierra with Regina Elías and Verónica Guerrero
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Museo Tamayo, Mexico City. Photos by Gerardo Landa and Eduardo López.
OTRXS MUNDXS [Spanish gender neutral for “Other Worlds”] is a group exhibition that surveys and articulates the work of an heterogeneous, multicultural group of more than forty artists who work individually and collectively in Mexico City. Throughout four thematic sections (I. Capitalism and Domination, II. Seriality, Identity and Obliteration, III. Entropy, Speculation and Visualization, and IV. Body and Materiality), the exhibition presents recent works and special commissions, which reveal urgent discourses, representative of an artistic community who internalizes the paradigms and failures of late capitalism. OTRXS MUNDXS focuses on highlighting o therness: artist’s presentations constitute artistic microcosms which question the preconceived, hegemonic notions—or else, they solidify alternative visions—of what it means to make art in or from Mexico City.
OTRXS MUNDXS presents a majority of younger, or emerging artists—for some of whom this exhibition is their first major museum presentation—as it articulates the narratives in which they are invested with a selected group of more established artists who have been instrumental for defining the Mexican artistic landscape, both nationally and internationally.
Even though the exhibition is an exhaustive revision of the current artistic landscape, it is not intended to be an all-encompassing or universal exercise. In that sense, the exhibition has been constructed with an awareness of its own limitations and with the hope of posing one argument, amongst the many that can be made about art in the present. The exhibition is, first and foremost, a platform for art and artists to trace conversations that have been at the forefront of global artistic discourse, presenting the important dialogue between local communities and Mexican artists with artists from Ecuador, República Dominicana, France, Brazil, Peru, and many cities of the United States. It also addresses the lack of institutional representation and attention to local communities, particularly for a younger generation of artists in the city. OTRXS MUNDXS consists of an unprecedented institutional response to the global pandemic; a gesture which, in the best of cases, anticipates a post-pandemic alterity, a world in which equality, social and interspecies justice and the well-being of the inhabitants of this complex city, is not posed as radical idea, but as an attainable reality.
Capitalism and Domination presents a large, site-specific installation comprised of recent works by Pia Camil, who thinks about the complexity of capitalist, transnational relations, contrasted with a recent series of paintings, her most personal, intimate body of work to date. Together, they create a sort of opening act for the exhibition which considers the broader, global forces that are constantly oppressing more intimate, domestic environments. Yeni Mao presents a series of masterfully constructed sculptures by which the artist introduces a vocabulary of materials, one where formal contrasts represent his own research on craft in relationship to desire. Other works by artists SANGREE and Miguel Calderón, deepen the conversation about the physical and subliminal consequences of branding and mark-making.
In Seriality, Identity and Obliteration, a commissioned structure by Noe Martínez, becomes the substrate for a retrospective exercise whereby more than a dozen recent paintings describe the artist’s interest in mapping the history of slavery in Mexico, while imagining the brutal conditions in which Black bodies existed in colonial times. In the same manner, Fernanda Barreto presents an array of shapes created with rope found in the coasts of Latin America that she has collected over the years, in combination with fragments of the book El Hurakán by Germán Castro Caycedo, which explores unofficial stories of the colonial period of the Americas.
ektor garcia utilizes repetition as an artistic gesture, a durational commitment to a technique or a process, which is representative of their own idiosyncratic perception of identity. Fernando Palma works at the intersection of Mexican native cosmovision and technology, while Madeline Jimenez investigates concepts like abstraction and erosion in relationship to her Caribbean roots and the Black Caribbean identity at large. Other works in this section speak about what is left behind and eventually fades, such as Angela Leyva and Berenice Olmedo’s, which both draw from forgotten histories involving the representation and eventual obliteration of diverse children groups. Rita Ponce de León presents a series of drawings in which she explores how we face and learn from immediate experiences—in a context of the enclosure of bodies—and how drawing can provide new sensible readings of that which is being depicted.
The third section of OTRXS MUNDXS, Entropy, Speculation and Visualization, showcases four audio visual installations where different aspects of entropy are investigated: Paloma Contreras Lomas has created a constellation of recent works where she reflects on the corrosive, hallucinatory conditions of rural Mexico; Jerónimo Reyes-Retana’s imaginative sound installation is a granular reproduction of an Amazonian soundscape through a fifteen-channel interface, mounted on devices all sourced on Amazon; Pablo Dávila presents a specially commissioned installation where a large-scale screen televises a seemingly unintelligible four-color pattern transmitted by a super-computer of his creation — which processes a gargantuan amount of numbers produced by entropy creating USB drives; Mario García Torres and Sol Oosel debut a video condensing their performance at the Torcuato di Tella University in Buenos Aires, which is a trans-temporal collaboration where the artists articulated past and present with the performatic activation of musical instruments unused for decades. Miguel Calderón’s work reappears in the exhibition in the form of a series of objects which speak about decay and perception. Other artists like Armando Rosales,Tercerunquinto, Zazil Barba and Julieta Gil, address the collapse and degeneration of forces of different nature—physical or political—at the same time that they play with ways of visualizing this very collapse. The works of Daniel Godínez Nivón and Josué Mejía create worlds where historical or oniric speculations are represented by different artistic mediums.
The fourth and last section of the show, Body and Materiality, is introduced by a video by Francis Alÿs, a performance documentation of the artist splitting one of his landscape paintings by half with a hand-saw, suggesting the transformative potential of destruction; and a site-specific commission by Marcos Castro, where a constellation of paintings on canvas interact with a mural depicting a post-human, interspecies landscape where references of prehispanic cultural markers are confronted with seemingly apocalyptic scenes. Ana Segovia and Romeo Gómez López offer a reinterpretation of Mexican and international popular culture that contests heteropatriarchal conceptions disseminated by art and film. Guillermo Santamarina turns to dada and punk aesthetics to explore the figure and visual languages of those who have been left out of society. The most delirious segment of the exhibition, the work of Clotilde Jimenez, Chelsea Culprit, Javier Barrios, ASMA, Marco Rountree and Tania Pérez Cordova, organizes a multilayered dialogue between landscape and body, touching upon dreams, materiality, and queer subjectivities. In the last gallery of this section, Yann Gerstberger presents an immersive installation made from textiles, drawings and sculptural works—an abandoned garden where nature took over man-made and natural structures, with depictions of vegetal and anthropomorphic figures.
Two special commissions exist outside the former sections, but still remain thematically related. The artist duo Tezontle has created a monumental commission for the museum’s central patio. Inspired by the ruins of colonial hermitages around the city, they transformed the patio into a conceptual parcel of land where an habitational space and other domestic objects can be read both as a monument and as a futuristic ruin. In this utopian space, the artists think about the possibilities of an holistic existence, outside of urban life and its anxieties, much like 1960s Carl Jung’s Bollingen Tower. At the back area of the museum’s center space, artist M elanie McLain has designed a sculptural formation reminiscent of corporate partitions, made to be performed in a choreography which connects surface, forms, and body parts.
OTRXS MUNDXS is curated by Humberto Moro, deputy director and senior curator, and Andrés Valtierra, associate curator. With assistance of Regina Elías and Verónica Guerrero.
The typography “OTRXS MUNDXS MONX” and the graphic identity of the exhibition has been especially designed by Aldo Arillo for Tomo publishing.
OTRXS MUNDXS has been possible thanks to the generosity of the Museo Tamayo Board, as well as its International Council and Contemporary Circle. Significant corporate support is provided by COMEX, Viewsonic, and SURFACE. This exhibition has been partially funded by the Annual Museum Gala.