Paul Ramirez Jonas for Jumex Museum
The Crystal Palace and Public Faith are part of Agora: a blueprint for Utopia, a program of artistic commissions for the Museo Jumex square, which explores the notions of public space through the commitment, participation and collaboration.
The Crystal Palace (2018) is at the same time a piece of lockers for visitors to the museum and an exhibition. Paul Ramirez Jonas (Pomona, USA, 1965) takes as its point of departure for the conception of this work, the history of the great universal exhibitions that originated in the 19th century during the height of the European colonial enterprises and industrial development. One of the most representative was the one that took place in Hyde Park, London, in 1851 for the construction of the Crystal Palace, a transparent architecture that hosted the Great Exhibition of the works of industry of all nations (Great Exhibition of the works of Industry of All Nations).
The installation of Ramirez Jonas asks about the history of the Aztec Palace, the pavilion with which Mexico participated in the Paris Universal Exhibition in 1889. By its ephemeral nature, the pavilions synthesized conjunctural interests, "formed a coherent proposal, incomplete and experimental which sought to persuade viewers on the reality of their propositions". Ramirez Jonas evokes the nationalist impetus of these events "universal", but stripping them of their solemnity through humor and the everyday. Located in the lobby of the Museum, The Crystal Palace offers a crystalline structure, a cabinet of curiosities, a showcase that aims to be the "Great exhibition of museum visitors Jumex".
When using an object that performs a function for the visitors of the museum, they are invited to complete the sense of the work. Each one of the boxes of the Crystal Palace contains an element, taken from the popular mexican material culture, with the Ramirez Jonas interprets the history of the Mexican flag. When visitors keep their belongings, they are invited to respond with another object that will be part of the exhibition during his visit to the Museum. Together, the artist and the visitors, create a changing exhibition in which the audience becomes guardian and interpreter of his own chapter within this story.
These projects propose alternative means to design, activate and use the public space, incorporating communities permanent and/or temporary who occupy or that are formed around her. Based on the work of the artists, reimaginan are examined and the means by which relate to the built environment, its administration, and social life.
The project public faith is a collaborative work of art in the public space. Part of the Agora: a blueprint for Utopia, through which the museum commissioned works and actions for their public space, the museum square.
Public faith seeks to examine the value that we give to our words through the promises we make to each other and to ourselves. For two weeks in the Museo Jumex, Public Faith asked to visitors of the museum to make a promise which will be recorded in a drawing that can keep. That promise will be published in a large canopy at the museum square and next to promises made by politicians, scientists, economists and meteorologists to be obtained every day of the holders of the press.
Paul Ramirez Jonas considers himself a reader of pre-existing texts that may be cultural objects any -a journal, a map, a photo -, and that the reinterprets, as if they were scores, in the form of performances, sculptures, photos or videos. These acts of reading have become public in the last decade in order to strengthen a formal contract between the work of art and its audience. Their projects are looking for ways to incorporate the intimacy that allows one-to-one relationship" with the traditional art objects and nature "one to many" of public monuments. Through Public Faith, Ramirez Jonas involves the general public, regardless of the condition of each participant in the formation of a piece of art on the promises and the speech acts that allow the social cohesion.
Paul Ramirez Jonas (Pomona, USA, 1965) has set out independently in the Pinacoteca do Estado, Sao Paulo (2011); The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield (2008); The Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art, Austin (2007); Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (2004) and Cornerhouse, Nottingham (2004). He has participated in group exhibitions at P.S.1, Brooklyn Museum and New Museum, New York (2001, 2014 and 2001); Whitechapel Gallery, London (1998); Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (1997); and the Kunsthaus in Zurich (1995). He has participated in the 1st Biennial of Johannesburg; the 1st Biennial of Seoul; the 6th Shanghai Biennale; the 28th Biennial of Sao Paulo, the 53rd Venice Biennale and the 7th Biennial of Mercosur in Porto Alegre. In 2010, Creative Time presented its draft Key to the City in partnership with the City of New York. In 2016 Public Trust (Faith) was submitted by Now & There in Boston. In 2017, the Contemporary Art Museum Houston organized Atlas, Plural, Monumental, a retrospective of 25 years of his work. He is currently associate professor at Hunter College, City University of New York.