KURIMANZUTTO PRESENTS SIEMBRA, WHERE 8 ARTISTS DELVE INTO SYNERGY AND SYMBIOSIS
How can one reimagine kurimanzutto after its 20 years of existence? How can one propose a different way of experiencing time? What place does the gallery occupy in the world, the country, and within each of the communities to which it belongs? What permeates its surroundings and what will shape its future? Art asks questions, it doesn’t give answers. Over the course of 2020, kurimanzutto will formulate questions that have emerged after having undergone various cycles.
Siembra/Sowing is the project with which the gallery proposes an exhibition rhythm of its own, one that reflects the pace of the crop by emphasizing the biodiversity, permeability of periods of growth, and the importance of variety, all necessary in permaculture: the intelligent and respectful use of the soil for the benefit of all.
The experiment in the gallery prioritizes the particularity of the creative processes of each of the artists participating in this long-term ecosystem. Just as different species complement one another by sharing the same soil and nourishing it in return, the exhibitions within Siembra cohabitate the gallery and respond to the context in which they are being developed. The project puts forth a biodiverse and vibrant landscape in which various timeframes converge and become nourished by the porosity of ideas, without the expectation of predetermined results.
The gallery is divided into seven independent and interconnected spaces where individual exhibitions of the artists who will be joining the programming will be on display. Each artistic proposition will have a distinct duration depending on the artist’s process and will serve to create fortuitous and fertile mental connections. Siembra views the gallery as a field in which time and space promote diverse dialogues.
Haegue Gang - dress vehicle / eclectic totemic s
Haegue Yang (Seoul, 1971) presents an ensemble that combines a performative sonic sculpture, Dress Vehicle with the wallpaper, Eclectic Totemic. The dazzling performative sculpture emerged from research on costumes and movements, ranging from the Western avant-garde at the beginning of the twentieth century, such as Triadic Ballet (1922) by Oskar Schlemmer, to the fashion of drag queens, pagan traditions, and shamanism. Her ongoing artistic inquiries into the notion of body, figuration, and performativity, alongside geometry, drive her investment in performative sculptures, which are maneuvered by a person inside holding the handles. Sonic Dress Vehicle – Hulky Head employs the artist’s signature materials, such as venetian blinds and bells. While blinds obscure the body and gaze, the bells resonate subtly with movements and rattling sounds emerge through tactile contact with the floor. Initiated in 2011, the wallpaper gradually became an essential part one of the artist’s visual languages, drawing a panoramic backdrop for her presentations of sculptural pieces. As a sculptor, Yang interests in the notion of flatness, juxtaposed with figurations in diverse modes, such as anthropomorphic, creature-like or minimalistic. The populated sculpture, which inhabits the environment imposed by the wallpaper, enables a scripted journey into a world of diaspora and hybridity. Eclectic Totemic contains fragments of numerous references points, which are usually invisible in Yang’s work: the mustache of George Orwell, faces of Marguerite Duras and Petra Kelly, the costume designs of Vaslav Nijinsky, Igor Stravinsky eyes, a figure from Oskar Schlemmer’s Triadic Ballet, etc. The giant totems are patchworks of those seemingly irrelevant figures from different continents, time periods, and contexts and now commonly inhabit the abstract landscape featuring three off-primary colors, reminiscent of the artistic trio of Aubette (a historical building in Strasbourg, France), namely Sophie Taeuber-Arp, her partner Jean Arp, and Theo van Doesburg. Extraordinary totemic characters provide epic tales of figures, time, and space, which are crucial to understand Yang’s oeuvre.
Gabriel Orozco - veladoras arte universal
This is the second showing of Gabriel Orozco’s series Veladoras Arte Universal, previously presented at the Museo de Bellas Artes in Havana, Cuba during the XIII Havana Biennial in 2019. The pieces are made from fishnet and lace tights, a garment of clothing common among women who work in airports, banks, police stations and museums, as guards or custodians. Ever since childhood, Orozco noticed the tights worn by Cuban women as an interesting and amusing detail that contrasts with the seriousness of their uniforms and the positions they occupy. His curiosity arises from an aesthetic attraction to the material and the patterns formed by the fabric. The foundation of these pieces also comes from an everyday product: Orozco reconfigures the paperboard around which pantyhose tend to be wrapped to create abstract geometric sequences, which in turn evoke anthropomorphic shapes given the mental association that already exists between this texture and the body.
Eduardo Abaroa - collector’s series
Eduardo Abaroa presents the series Sarape-CD, which reproduces the image of a pirated CD recorded in the MaiCanadá Inc Studios whose original was lost. It was bought around 2002 in the streets of Mexico City and probably had cumbias and narcocorridos on it. By reproducing the image of the CD on a piece of fabric that will be part of a garment of clothing, the artist alludes less to the specific function of each object than to the idea of function in and of itself. It is important to appreciate the text printed on the pirated disc, which invokes the right to subvert artistic and commercial property with a narrative of social revendication. On the other hand, the sarape is a multifunctional object, usually used as an article of clothing, a blanket, or a carpet. The reference to the parangolés—the carnival cloaks of Brazilian artist Hélio Oiticica—is thematically and formally inevitable. In the same exhibition, Abaroa presents the sculpture Geometría remota / Remote Geometry (dodecahedron and rectangular prism, 2019), made with hundreds of silicon buttons from remote controls, recovered from the technological junk sections of Mexico City’s markets. The button is a material artefact that allows us to have an impact on a network of electrical, electronic and media interactions; it is a piece of machinery that determines and facilitates a certain perception of our world. This facilitates the contemplation of an inert object, the result of programmed obsolescence, which has an uncomfortable yet forgotten relationship with our bodies and our daily lives. The dodecahedron is a platonic solid formed by twelve pentagons (five-sided figures) which in this work allude to the fingers of the hand. Plato theorized that the gods used the dodecahedron to organize the constellations in the sky; Kepler ascribed this form to ether, one of the five elements accounted for in his diagram of the Universe. The fascinating regularity of geometry makes it commonplace, even today, to relate it to the totality.
Daniela Rossell & Galen Jackson - la computadora de la conexión/ computer with an internet connection
The exhibition by Daniela Rossell and Galen Jackson is a work of video art that, while it remains connected (to electricity and the Internet), never ceases to rewrite itself using images that wander the streets of the Internet. The artists present this work by way of a connected computer that they’ve programmed to show Dziga Vértov’s film Man With a Movie Camera (1929) on one side, and on the other, a film of the same duration that is generated live and in infinite variations. The program they’ve designed uses artificial intelligence to automatically generate its own sense of similitude and become a sort of mirror. The program sees—just like a person who has become addicted to images and never tires of seeing—and constantly studies the boundless corpus of photographs available online in the present moment in order to select those images that resemble each scene from the film by the Russian director. The program selects 24 images a second from among all the photographs available on the Internet, which together form a kind of strobe-like portrait of that moment in time. As a result, a new film keeps appearing on the monitor on the left and runs on loop anew from the beginning. By pressing the spacebar on the computer, the spectator can pause the transmission and create unique pairs of images pulled from the universe of information on the web. The artists have also made silk-screen prints of pairs of images taken from surprising screenshots—accidents, moments, unrepeatable coincidences—which will also be displayed in the same exhibition space.
Wendy Cabrera Rubio - salón de arte panamericano
Wendy Cabrera Rubio’s artistic proposal reproduces two paintings that appear in Mexican political caricatures, which were published during the Cold War. The reproductions were made with plain-colored textiles on strechers in order to emphasize their scenographic quality and indicate a distance as much from the history of the painting as from the pictorial gesture. In these works, Cabrera Rubio explores the construction of the idea of abstract art in a context such as Mexico’s and highlights the undercurrent of the Cold War in the artistic production of the period. Two of these works refer to the “Salón ESSO”, a painting prize for young artists that was auspiced by the Organization for American States and the American company Satandard Oil, ESSO. The artist recreates the paintings by cartoonist Vadillo in his “Motivos abstractos?/ Abstract Motives?”, which depict a group of wealthy people standing before a work of seemingly abstract art in which two “motives” are emphasized (in the pictorial and the economic sense): the OAS and ESSO (written with a dollar sign in place of an “S”). In the second painting, a millionaire, an American nationalist, and a man with a box of Coca-Colas appear, which in an act of colonialism abstractly presents an indigenous Mexican holding a banner of nationalism. Both images use well-known signs to call attention to the intense and well-known dispute between committed art and abstract art (the Rupture); in other words, between the muralists—representatives of figurative, nationalist, and politicized painting— and the abstract movement, identified by the former as cultural intervention on the part of United States imperialism. —Christian Gómez
Dr. Lakra - untitled (ceramic)
Dr. Lakra presents a new series of high-temperature ceramics which he completed in the Lumbre workshop in Oaxaca. These works demonstrate the artist’s versatility in his use of materials and resonate with the aesthetic that has come to distinguish his work over the years. At first glance these pieces appear to be Oriental ceramics in the Japanese tradition, but upon looking at them in further detail, one recognizes the extensive Asiatic iconography that has formed a part of Dr. Lakra’s work for many years. The artist has created other work in this style with techniques ranging from tattooing to Chinese ink painting to Sumi-E to traditional Tibetan painting and now, ceramic painting.
Minerva Cuevas - the story of a mountain, the history of a country
For this exhibition, Minerva Cuevas works with tezontle based on reflections centered around the geography of Mexico City and its volcanoes. Her interest began, in the first place, after having studied the writings of Ezequiel Ordóñez, who paved the way for the industrial extraction of petroleum in Mexico in 1994, and continued after reflected on the concepts of “territory” and “nation,” bound to Mexico’s pre-Hispanic and colonial past. Cuevas utilizes tezontle as a material that is tied to the process of volcanic eruption and close to the element of fire. In this case the material comes from the Xaltepec Volcano in the Sierra de Santa Catarina, a mountain range located to the east of Mexico City. In pre-Hispanic times tezontle from the Xaltepec Volcano was used to construct the House of the Eagles in México-Tenochtitlan, what is now known as the Templo Mayor. As of the 1960s, numerous irregular human settlements proliferated and, though this trend has diminished, the metropolitan area of Mexico City threatens to make the conservation zone disappear. The Santa Catarina mountain range is also one of the poorest regions of the Mexican capital. Through her exhibition and by using these materials, Cuevas poses questions that go beyond mere matters of aesthetics: How do we think about the relationships between social man and the earth? What role do concepts such as subject, power, alterity, and environment play? What role does the social play in a reflection on territory and space? How might we revive the individual, and not just society, as a geographic agent? Is it possible to have a social space integrated with nature?