Escultura Social: A New Generation of Art from Mexico City
23 Jun - 02 Sep 2007
Untitled (sillón rojo), 2004.
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Photo courtesy of the artist and kurimanzutto, Mexico City
June 23 - September 2, 2007
Over the last ten years, Mexico, and Mexico City in particular, has become a thriving hub of contemporary art activity that has had an international impact. A dynamic young generation of artists has developed a rigorous new vocabulary that embraces non-traditional sculptural materials as well as video, photography, and performance. Informed by twentieth-century art historical movements such as conceptualism, "actions" or "happenings," which are being re-examined not only in Mexico, but worldwide by a younger generation of artists, the work also refers to aspects of popular culture -- television, music, advertising, or flea markets -- and its history, urban life, and current political issues, but does so in a fresh new way that is not readily identifiable as Mexican.
German performance artist Joseph Beuys's idea of social sculpture, translated into the Spanish escultura social, is used as a multivalent point of reference: the works are all socially engaged, they draw connections between people, animals, and nature, they revisit conceptual practices/actions from the 1960s, and promote a demystified and democratic idea of artmaking. In addition, the circulation and meaning of images, objects, and actions are at the crux of these artists' works and the exhibition provides an opportunity to showcase their recent developments. It includes site-specific, performative and ephemeral projects in addition to videos, photographs, and installations by several artists, including Maria Alós, Carlos Amorales, Julieta Aranda, Gustavo Artigas, Stefan Bruggemann, Miguel Calderon, Fernando Carabajal, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Mario Garcia-Torres, Daniel Guzman, Pablo Helguera, Gabriel Kuri, Dr. Lakra, Los Super Elegantes, Nuevos Ricos, Yoshua Okon, Damian Ortega, Fernando Ortega, Pedro Reyes, and dynamic young architect Fernando Romero.
This exhibition is curated by MCA Pamela Alper Associate Curator Julie Rodrigues Widholm. A bi-lingual and illustrated catalogue with contributions from the artists accompanies the exhibition.