A VINDICATION TO OFFICES: AMALIA PICA AT THE JUMEX MUSEUM
¡Qué viva el papeleo! (Long live paperwork!) is Amalia Pica's exhibition at the Museo Jumex that deals with office culture and focuses on finding pleasure and the potential for playing within the tedious processes of paperwork.
Reused materials –including shredded paper and other familiar objects such as office furniture and stationery– form the basic building blocks for works that parody and subvert bureaucratic systems and procedures.
By exploring the material culture of bureaucracy, artist Amalia Pica references the well-known frustration of having to complete paperwork and turns it into a playful exercise. Entering the exhibition, there is a bureaucratic obstacle in the form of an absurd questionnaire that, although it must be completed as a requirement for entry, turns out to be an exercise in futility. Several divisions of office cubicles form a labyrinth that crosses the exhibition space and allows us to appreciate stacks of paper of different heights. Above them, wrought bronze paperweights lie in the form of domestic objects that evoke the strange fusion of office and home that has recently arisen from the large-scale transfer of work from the office to the home.
Pica defiantly claims a space for play in the face of the oppressive and complicated, form-based reality we seem to have created for ourselves.
Amalia Pica (Argentina, 1978) explores systems of communication and civic participation in works ranging from sculpture and drawing to performance, video and installation. Pica was born in Neuquén in 1978, and moved to Buenos Aires to complete her degree (2001) at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes P.P. She was an artist-in-residence at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam (2004-05) and now lives and works in London. Her work raises questions about contemporary systems of communication, human connection, social participation and state control. Pica examines the things and circumstances that bring people together by injecting the concept of collective celebration into subjects plagued by conflict or tedium. Employing simple materials and found objects, she investigates the ways in which humans interact and the political potential of joy.
Pica has had solo exhibitions at Museum Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich (2020); Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Seville (2019); Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, Perth (2018); Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City (2013); among many more. Her work was included in the Gwangju Biennial, South Korea (2016); The Ungovernables: New Museum Triennial, New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (2015); and ILLUMInations, 54th Venice Biennale (2011).