2017-10-14 - 2017-12-16
It was 1979 when anthropologist Walter F. Morris Jr. published A catalog of textiles and folkart of Chiapas, an extensive inventory of three fabric collections, patterns and other regional objects. In this self-edited volume black&white, almost abstract images, which reduce the cataloged artifacts to a series of contrasting planes, appear along with greatly detailed descriptive texts. Few Augusts ago,on a cloudy day, a copy of the book fell into the hands of Rometti Costales, who could not keep from intervening in some way.Through dissembling, quartering, and reordering the content, they edit images and modify descriptions, overshadowing the language and bringing it closer to veiled photographs. The result is the facsimile Blue has run*, a weird compendium of image and word, which converts into a ready to act contraption. Rumpite libros ne corda vestra rumpantur (Break the books before they break your hearts )chants an alchemical dictum. From this facsimile emerges an ensemble of loose phrases without ostensible meaning, which are the raw material of this project.These are subtractions of subtractions, words losing their original function and not describing the world anymore. Now they are free to do what they want. And under certain circumstances, as J.L.Austin** stated, they are capable to create reality, to act beyond the language. Thus, the performative elocution arises. These eighty phrases are hence a starting point, a preamble. It’s on the edge, a spell of initiation , revealing a previously nonexistent reality
-or that which we were not able to see-. Out of each one’s autonomy emerges a new oeuvre, which, beyond illustrating the words, gives shape to works. The signs together with other components constitute the material part of each work. They form a bridge between the palpable and the impalpable. Movements, forms and trajectories; bronze, wax, cement, and palm. If usually the title of an artwork comes into existence after the artwork itself -describes, complements, plays around- , here the phrases are titles of something that potentially exists, and at the same time are integral part of that something. Bronze gazes and concrete bites observe us from the walls; crimped palm leaf lovers lie down on the floor; traces of frozen gold trajectories engraved on paper; columns of wax and concrete support the firmament; signs scraped over desert varnish observe us while we observe them. In the same way as the words eliminate themselves provoking the rise of the void on a page, matter is handled through a collage, performing incisions, subtractions, and juxtapositions of elements of diverse nature. The works emerge from incantation and reunite in space shaping an aleatory stage. Its origin as a descriptive language in anthropological context, as an attempt to collect and explain a piece of the world,makes way for the uncertain, sliding doubt from possibility - and necessity- to order and understand everything around us. In this way these craft objects from Chiapas establish relations with other.
ones, which are materialising themselves now, drawing an extraneous meditative space between them, and allowing words, materials, gestures or time shape the unknown.
Julia Rometti (France, 1975) and Víctor Costales (Belarus, 1974) live in Mexico City, place from where they develop an artistic practice that finds in nature a space for political inscription. Through diverse media that feed on collage and the readymade, Rometti Costales work with diverse materials that directly relate, in their essence, to our relationship with the natural. Deploying a cosmogony that stands halfway through what is real and what is fiction, they address ontological and political positions that through their diversity, they are capable of bringing us closer to a magical anarchism in which the human is no longer the center of anything, and where an uncertain and ungovernable force emerges as inapelable.
* Blue has Run is an modified facsimile of A catalog of textiles and folkart of Chiapa, which originally was printed in 100 copies , most of were lost or dispersed through various specialized libraries. The catalogue lists elements from three collections of patterns from south Mexico, created with help of Walter F. Morris in the middle sixties. The DIY quality and meticulously precise descriptions take the content of the catalogue to areas closer to poetry, moving it away from its original purpose. The publication followed the exhibition Azul Jacinto Marino at Center of Contemporary Art Synagogue of Delme.
** In 1962 English philosopher and semiologist J.L. Austin published How to Do Things with Words, in which he proposes the concept of performative utterance, a form of expression where the words enact rather than describe. Austin, J. L:How to Do Things with Words, second edition, ed. Marina Sbisa and J.O.Urmson, Cambridge : William James Lectures, 1975
2017-06-05 - 2017-09-16
The two chapters of François Bucher’s exhibition at joségarcía, mx — mérida belong to the series Contact, an ongoing body of works inspired on Carl Sagan’s famous novel and on the cult film that goes by the same name. The title for the show comes from the utterance of the novel’s heroine, Ellie, after she has gone through a wormhole that led her to the star Vega on her path to her appointment with the “Absolute other”. The novel tells the story of an extraterrestrial intelligence that has established contact with the human race, Ellie has been chosen as our civilization’s representative. Just before the encounter, she pronounces these words: Some celestial event. No words to describe it. They should have sent a poet.
2017-05-13 - 2017-06-24
Tania Pérez Córdova
“… there, but empty” is a quote from American writer and translator Lydia Davis and it is the title of an exhibition which is somehow an articulation of quotes, of fragments that point at the existence of something else which that is concealed. In “The Center of the Story” by Davis, a writer finding herself at the end of a story, she realizes that she couldn’t end… While we recognize something suspended, yet unidentifiable in Caroline Achaintre’s work, David Bestué builds a metaphorical body of bone and blood in his. Nina Beier produces fragments of an imagined form, symbol of a magnanimous rhetoric reduced to a few pieces of stone. François Bucher’s images link different sensitive dimensions that point at a fragment that contains in itself the order of the whole, like the images of the volcano Popocatépetl by Tania Pérez Córdova show a primordial underground order that we are not capable of seeing. Rometti Costales with heterogenous fragments of complex universes enclosed in display devises that are reflected in a geological time turned into architecture, a floating image, almost fleeting. Wilson Díaz builds small autonomous moments that are nonetheless embedded in complex sociopolitical contexts. A body formed by what conceals it in Marie Lund’s work. The assemblage of elements that coexist in a strange tension, without achieving stability,something flowing out of sight, “a form closed but broken” in June Crespo’s work. Text :Catalina Lozano
2017-02-19 - 2017-02-25
Jose Maria Vertiz 491, Col. Narvarte. Del. Benito Juarez
Retrospective is a project by Nina Beier exhibited at a marketing show-home in a new development. Retrospective interweaves different works into the static ready-made apartment, mirroring acrisis of representation in a place between real and mediated where the conventional hierarchies of figure and ground, content and frame, thing and sign, are overturned. This crisis of representation makes the site of meaning itself elusive: it is somewhere between, a kind of relationship, unbounded within an expanding field, where it exists among the connections between individual and collective aesthetic experience, commercialised image proliferation, and tightly focused representations of a cultural unconscious. It encodes and decodes the functions of the image in mass media, advertising, and art, recognizing that there is always so much (too much?) in play. It’s a sociology of images that takes a gamble by pushing both art and the viewer to a place where their usual trigger-and response mechanisms are cast into doubt. A paradigmatic example is the dog that lies still on command in Tragedy (2011), offering us an intimation of death, a repeatable resurrection, a reason for hope, an object of study, a great Instagram shot, a nature morte, a memento mori, a trompe l’oeil, a tragedy and a comedy, an image and an object, a paradigmatic “good dog” on an expensive carpet. It is left open how all these facets of the work relate. This kind of simultaneous multiplicity of image-codes is crucial
to the functioning of Beier’s work. Bringing into view the assumptions we already make when we look atimages – and thus offering them up, as an object of reflection and engagement – is one explanation for the variety of responses to her work in this book. Her art taps into both the surface and the depths of the collective imaginary, leaving room for ideas and arguments coming from multiple directions, being at its core as adaptable as the commercial images that inform its aesthetics and are often its subject.Beier makes work that deals in the tropes of the image-world, from art history to stock images. The cornucopia, replayed in the coffee cups with beans pouring out of them, was once a sign of wealth and abundance yet now comes to represent loss and waste – and is hence tagged as such in image banks. Digestion becomes regurgitation; scarcity becomes minimalism; object becomes image. But there is always continuity, through whatever warped paths – the symbol remains, in always different forms, with always different meanings, but, as Beier has noted, inexhaustible even as it slips into different registers, received and passed on by the silently changing range of feeling and thought available to be attached to an image/object/form/idea at each embedded moment, coded through matrices of gender, labour, value, commerce, the mythologies of advertising, the aura of art and the signification of its material base.
2017-02-10 - 2017-04-22
Dream of a Broken Memory is a narrative continuation of the artist’s latest project at Museum Tamayo - Plumed Serpent and Other Parties. The title of this show is also included on one of the paintings. Other one announces a film“Dreaming on a dream” which artist has been developing since 2006. The five large-format works presented at the gallery have an ominous presence of a recurring dream – with the territory of Mexico in flames repeated on all. These maps have no traces of human presence or urban sprawl. In this apocalyptical vision the only residuals of human existence are fires, distributed around the whole country. These fires produce heavy smoke, covering the northern part of American continent. The lost territories are not visible anymore, the future of North America and it's relationship with its Southern Neighbours seems to be shrouded in a dense fog. However, Sarabia's message is of importance, asking us to look inwards.Within this dystopian dream another dream occurs: rose garlands and quetzals, colorful birds under the threat of extinction, appear out of nowhere, bringing hope to a hopeless situation.
2016-12-01 - 2017-02-10
The Mérida-based Cuban-American artist Jorge Pardo investigates the intersection of contemporary painting, design, sculpture, and architecture. He has created relaxing environments that include decorative artefacts and home furnishings designed or selected by himself, turning his own house into a museum.Jorge Padro is the first local artist invited to joségarcía ,mx, initiating a new direction in the gallery program. For this exceptional show he presented a selection of colourful large scale paintings, which brilliant palette merges the site-specific luminosity and photographic color schemes. Unlike the usual paintings this particular series is destined for an outdoor presentation. Each painting functions also as an exterior led lighting.All works explores memories, taking inspiration from typical family photos. A mysterious round object, a hybrid eyeball-sun accompany each scene. At night it illuminates the picture,turning the space into dream-like arcane garden.
2016-10-08 - 2016-10-22
For his first project at joségarcía ,mx Benoît Maire gives continuity to his research on archetypical forms and shapes, such as those of universally used tables and chairs, in the new context of the gallery's particular openness to nature.The title of the project, Castled, gives us a clue to novel approach to working the region - similar to the game of building a sandcastle and playfully trying to shape this fickle material into architecture and the fragility of this endeavor. As such, the project exists as a balancing game between the use of local materials, the collaboration with native craftsmen, the extreme climate conditions and the orientation and lighting of the space. The artist explores and articulates on one hand – the logical, precise and planned designs devised by him, such as the circles and straight angles of these sculptures, against the unruly, wild backdrop that is nature. But what results is no confrontation - rather, the result is a balanced, symbiotic relationship between what is manmade and what is natural; the artist likes to think of this as a way of framing: the sculptural elements act as a frame of nature and vice versa. As one enters the space, one encounters pukté-timber chairs that face one of the most prominent features of the gallery space – a solitary tall Guaya tree. Here a poetic exchange takes place, as one contemplates the living wood while resting on the cut and dead timber.
A brass structure emphasizes this dissimilitude, of the clean-cut geometries framing the whimsical vegetation. Finally, a Brass abstraction of a mask, which during the day reflects the light of the sun, at night emits its own energy, harnessed by solar panels – again setting in motion a game of dualities.
2016-09-23 - 2016-10-28
General Prim 130
josegarcia, mx is pleased to present American Gun, a project by Edgardo Aragón for Gallery Weekend and presented at General Prim 30. American Gun brings together different projects where the act of seeing interweaves different stories around Edgardo Aragón’s ongoing interest to address issues of corruption, violence, social conditions and current political problems.
Upon entering the space, the viewer is confronted with an almost absolute darkness. Gradually, one begins to get used to the low light emitted by two red bulbs at the end of the space, below these, two trays contain photographs, which are still developing. In one image, we see horses seized in the war against drug trafficking. In a second, the image of the Mexican flag lost in a wooded setting. Both images in black & white are degrading due to light that viewers let into space as they enter. This work is titled Pura Sangre (Pure Blood), a pun that refers both to the breed of the horses as well as an image of the current political landscape.
Adjacent to this space are two more rooms: the first shows Verde Militar (Military Green),, a series of 12 abstract paintings made with chlorophyll of plants which Aragon took from the ground cover of forests in Oaxaca, a natural landscape which served in the past as military training ground. With this series, Edgardo to addresses issues of survival; both in hunting and war – The human eye was able to distinguish many shades of green thanks to our evolution in the woods hunting and surviving predators; on the other side is the military uniform color for camouflage in the jungle. With Green Military, at ground level, Aragon aims to train the eye again not only to distinguish variants in natural pigments, but also as a metaphor for our blindness to glimpse the current problems of our country.
Also in this room Baño Oro, a small canvas gold leaf installed in space by way of a religious altar is presented. This work, too abstract, serves as synonymous with the worship of wealth and points to one of the strategies used by the Mexican army to try to bring down the Zetas: the systematic destruction of altars to the Santa Muerte that were found in his military campaign . Gold leaf makes the light reflected with great intensity and, in contrast to the attention demanded paints green eye immediately before, this little work does the opposite, upset with his strident brightness.
In the last room Ley Fuga, short video where a man and shoot a gun pointing to a small raft which was wearing his own shirt is projected. Gesture replicates common practice during the Porfiriato where those executed were given the opportunity to escape if the aim of the executor failed, something unlikely, but without denying them a momentary illusion of freedom.
2016-09-23 - 2016-10-28
josegarcia, mx is pleased to present Deshuesadero, el paraíso Zimatlán, a project by Edgardo Aragón at Calle Dresde 2 in conjunction with American Gun, presented at Calle General Prim 30. Both exhibitions take place during Gallery Weekend Mexico City.
Deshuesadero, el paraíso Zimatlán, involves an installation of a series of abstract paintings made of iron oxide. This pigment was made from scrap auto parts that the artist found in junkyards or auto-body shops located in the area known as “El Paraiso” in Zimatlán, Oaxaca.
These monochromatic paintings, whose format makes direct and formal reference to specific parts of cars – such as doors, windows or the hood – recreate an abstract representation of the landscape of “El Paraiso”. This is one of many places where cars have been left behind by mexican immigrants in the United States, who in search of the American Dream, invest their little savings on cars whose short life ends at this type of junkyards.
With this work Aragon continues his research on economic, cultural and social exchanges between Mexico and the United States. Deshuesadero, el paraíso Zimatlán is a complex example of the relationship between the two nations, and the false notion of freedom and wealth that Mexico has adopted, over the years, from the neighboring country without much reflection.
On the other hand, Deshuesadero seeks to rethink and redefine the landscape as a genre: the walls of the exhibition space have been painted light blue, with direct reference to both the sky as common term and Heaven (El Paraiso), with its religious connotations.This consequently allows us to observe the ecological impact of different types exchange between Mexico and the United States. The landscape, which has been a key element in Aragon’s work, functions as vehicle of analysis for stories of injustice and violent events that involve these territories.
2016-09-06 - 2016-09-24
Scout is a project investigating a transformation of sculptural work involving the space, the climate and the duration of five months . In April 2016 the artist arranged a series of copper sculptures around the Merida gallery location. The local vegetation had been allowed to grow freely, surrounding the sculptures in the space. The copper sheets, titled Raising the Vessel , are part of an ongoing series created by the continuous hammering onto copper sheets, producing recessed areas and causing the surrounding surface to rise and warp. These works, usually polished and reflective are scouts- instructed to gather information on what lies ahead. They became darker, opaque, and with specks and green patina rings that inform us of the accumulation and evaporation of water, between the heavy rainfall and the extreme heat. Below we find concrete bases that in different ways support the copper vessels. The work titled Fit is an imprint of blue jeans, and with the garments absent leaving a negative space behind. These works have an acute attention to the surface as a membrane that allows for the exchange between the object and its surroundings -the copper being very susceptible to change, and the concave shapes receiving and gathering water and fallen leaves. After few months the artist returned to the site to find the works absorbed by the space.
She also added small-scale glass sculptures,titled Hush,before presenting the exhibition as the result of a sculptural intervention and the exchange between material, climate and time.
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