Paris’ EXO EXO and Mexico City’s LodosGallery have teamed up to present duo show by Michael Debatty and Noah Barker on June 23 in the former’s Paris site.
The press release discusses the exhibition in terms of what it describes as the ‘micro’, pragmatically framing the angle as one that aids coalition and alliance building between project spaces such as Exo in France and Lodos in Mexico:
“This is not to conclude the engagement as ineffectual in furthering the collective interests; rather it invites a time for sober second thoughts and doses of pragmatism.”
The short one-day gap that the exhibition can be referred to is also a coming together of a larger gap, quite intentionally it seems, left open, between “expectation and product” on the artists’ part, creating a space for “alternative vision”, as there is otherwise very little information to accompany the untitled show, and a plain grey jpeg poses as its leading image.
The group exhibition Water from the Nile at Mexico City’s Lodos Gallery ran from November 27, 2015, to January 17, 2016, and featured works by Darja Bajagić, Jake Cruzen, DeSe and Joseph Geagan. Each artist presented one work, a combination of video, sculpture and mixed media.
Bajagić’s ‘Blood Amy’ (2015) tapes a laser print of two young girls taking a selfie onto a square shaped box of plaster covered in acrylic-latex. Taking up a large portion of the adjacent wall is ‘untitled’ (2015), an oil painting of a horse by Cruzen. Opposite, a monitor hangs on a wall and plays DeSe’s ‘#DONTJUDGEMEBYE’ (2015), a looping HD video that lasts 19-seconds and uses the soundtrack ‘Turn Down For What‘ by DJ Snake and Lil Jon. Geagan’s ‘Lorelei Luna’ (2015) is a sculptural object made from a variety of materials, and sits awkwardly in the middle of the room. The nightmarish figure is hard to place, with chicken wire holding together an abstract form.
The works all feel as though they have travelled a far way from their original reference point, using collage and editing in some capacity to piece together fragmentary elements and calling attention to the multifaceted ways in which we claim our fixed identities.**
“Material Art Fair es la unica feria de arte contemporaneo en Mexico que se dedica a las practicas emergentes”, reads the homepage of the Material Art Fairwebsite. The third edition, running from February 4 to 7, gathers more than 60 international galleries, project and artist-run spaces together in Mexico City. Settled on the sixth floor of the Expo Reforma –a 60s building caught between its owndecay and attempts at some modernization near the historic city center and financial district –the event manifests in a maze where ‘emergent’ art spaces and practices mix and mingle in a kind of general mess. The hip set indeed exchange their natural habitat ofalleys and signs for a spatial organization where booths follow one another in a row. The advantage: every way enables a round trip between the air-conditioned restaurant, the bookstore, the reception, the toilets, and almost nothing escapes the viewer.
At Mexico City-based Lodos‘ booth two large tapestries, vintage and traditional looking, are suspended on both sides in its center, creating a partitioned space. Forced to sneak behind these compositions by French Mexico City-based artist Yann Gerstberger, these images or landscapes made of tinted floorcloth precede another mixed vision of the world in New Galerie’s installation. At one’s feet, silicone sculptures that look like different colored ox tongues by New York-based Olivia Erlanger prefigure the life-sucking cannibal scenario of movies and images by fellow NYC artist Darja Bajagić. Perched between thriller, pornography and death metal culture, one of her printed CDs hung on a wall reads, “Kill this fucking world”. It appears beside a series of C-print on hand-carved foam board –a blurry image of a goat, a sign that reads “Does that mean they are friendly” –by Vienna-based artists Anna-Sophie Berger’s completing the surgical picture.
Further on, Springsteen, a project established in 2013 by Baltimore duo Amelia Szpiech and Hunter Bradley, presents a series of paintings and found-objects by Erika Ceruzzi, along with a selection of robotic sculptures by Colin Foster including one described in a review onArtspace as “a ‘modified’ bug zapper that now works as a sculptural object while still killing bugs”. At Exo Exo, Brooklyn-based duo Bending Bindingand their ‘Kooling Systems’ air conditioning condenser and aerosol paint explore the future stakes of past technologies in an ultra-productive and fast, yet failing and polluted globalized world.
One of the most interesting stories of this third edition of Material Art Fair is San Diego mobile projectSPF15. Hidden beside the VIP restaurant, it occupies a space between projection, performance, discussion platform and what looks like a fire escape. “I’m sitting on the beach; it’s not particularly warm”, writes Morgan Mandalay, director and founder of the project in his announcement letter, “Despite the tales, it’s not exactly beach weather year round in San Diego.” The exhibition series was first initiated under the Sunday Project before changing its name to SPF15 Exhibitions –not just a UVA protection guideline but short for ‘Sunday Project for 15 Exhibitions’: “Again I dive in head first with curiosity and knowing it will be a project of experimentation; a lab”.
More specifically, SPF15 is physically a three-by-three meter pop-up canopy on the beach. While it operates as a gallery, it is also conceived as a kind of social sculpture in which each exhibition is also a collaboration with a changing tent. For the fair, the canopy is an overall installation with works byMichael Assiff, Chelsea Culp, Tim Mann, Josh Reames and Kim Schreiber. Always creating a fiction or a scenario connected with this context and being able to settle everywhere, the display this time pays tribute to the body. Culp’s large sculpture ‘Party Panties’ (2015) is a drunk, disenchanted and failed one. “The beach as a space ignites the mutual feelings of titillation and shame for that titillation”, writes Morgan in an email addressing the choice of tent-as-installation-area. “The beach to me has always operated as a space to explore dualities: Land and sea, leisure and labor, the sexuality of the body and its banality.” Everything is about borders –physical, political, poetical.
“- How it works? – Clay”, says the text by Schreiber presented on a tablet at the SPF15 tent entrance. Inside is a ceremony, a kind of initiation rite, exposed but intimate; mobile, fictive, hidden. It’s a transitive space, a place of passage, learning, much like Korakrit Arunanondchai‘s ‘Painting with History in a Room Filled With People With Funny Names 3’ (2015) film, this time showing as Lodos’ gallery space in Mexico City’s San Rafael and presenting a spiritual, social and almost technological portrait of the artist.
It’s a portrait that Yves Scherer extends well beyond himself, interring it into a beautiful, abandoned building in Mexico’s Juárez district with his Snow White and the Huntsman exhibition. Organized by joségarcia, mx and Attilia Fattori Franchini, it takes gossip and fan fiction as a starting point, reconstituting these stories into a physical context of immersive environments. Photos of actress Kristen Stewart and references to her public love scandal with Snow White and the Huntsman director Rupert Sanders appear alongside drawings and photos of Scherer himself to recreate the ‘rumor’ in his own image. Iconic representations of 19th century icons, pictures from Hollywood movies and tabloids, as well as personal pictures of the artist are arranged, framed and under glass as compositions or collages that put all these narratives on equal footing. What is real? What is invented? What is media?
An interweaving or imbrication of fictions, one within the other, is at work here. As with the Material Art Fair booths following one after the other, the VIP restaurant containing the SPF15 project containing the story of San Diego’s beach, and Arunandonchai’s film telling the story of an artist becoming an artist, there’s something ambiguous at play here; something ungraspable yet contained between the being, wanting, acting and telling of art and existence. **
Mexico City’s Lodos Gallery is bringing artist Kevin Gallagher in for a solo exhibition titled square shape faint aroma, running at the art space from February 6 to March 21.
Gallagher’s work tends to take installations as its primary medium, working through everyday objects and materials to create works that evoke contemporary creations of the digital age. An emergency blanket, styrofoam, abalone shells, speakers, mp3 tracks, granulated sugar, paracetamol, salt crystals, LED lights, lenses, cast resins, wood, vacuum-formed plastic shapes, paint, door hinges and chewing gum will all combine to form a kind of digital-looking collage in material world.
By way of press release, Gallagher only released a private letter written to a ‘Fran’ that mentions his recurring use of alibaba.com material that creates “a spatialization or visual poetic display of a certain sublime horror of commerce/consumerism available in 21st century virtual marketplaces”.
He continues: “I locate this horror in the potential transmission and also transmutability of just about anything, all available to you when navigating such a site.”
Mexico City’s darkarts.international is bringing a group show to its space this weekend, titled Under a Thawing Lake and running from February 4 to 8.
The show runs simultaneously with Mexico City’s Material Art Fair 2015, celebrating its second season, and, not surprisingly, there’s quite a bit of overlap in the list of participating artists between the two shows. Dora Budor is included in the list, alongside Nico Colón with whom she is exhibiting at the fair with Paris’s New Galerie.
The fair is bringing 40 different international exhibitors exploring emerging arts, as well as a public programme of conferences organized by the New York magazine and non-profit organization Triple Canopy and a video series programmed by South London Gallery Associate Curator Anna Gritz.
Tabor Robak is one of the artists in a group show curated by Samuel Leuenberger called Constructed Culture sounds like Conculture in Dublin, Harm van den Dorpel has another solo show in Berlin, Caroline Ongaro is curating Exquisite Collapse and Finnish performance group Vibes is presenting a site-specific installation at Helsinki’s SIC.
As part of the press release came a seven-paragraph text that brushes through the migration of stones, a retired Swiss in Paris, a man escaping from prison, the scientific discoveries of a Canadian 15-year-old girl, and an engraving on a turtle shell.
Mexico City’s Lodos Gallery is hosting the latest exhibition from Renaud Jerez, titled Yesterday and running from August 29 to November 1.
The Berlin-based artist comes to Mexico for the first time with a new set of work, consisting of two sculptures made with CNC cut on isolation foam as well as a painting, showing once again that his affiliation with so-called post-internet art does nothing to curb his classical approach.
Curated by Dorothée Dupuis, the exhibition takes inspiration from Joseph Cornell’s experimental 1942 film, By Night with Torch and Spear, and Jerez explores the greater narratives promised by technology and the “increasingly schizophrenic relationship between the mass produced devices/images and the bodies that use and consume them”.
Poetry group Oa4s celebrates the closing reception of their exhibition Special Features and the release of a new catalogue by the same name at Mexico City’s Lodos Gallery on August 14.
The 44-page bound book, which comes in a limited-edition print of 50, is comprised of lo-res images of various disparate things – the raised forehead of Tom Hanks, the footprints of assassin and instigator of WWI Gavrilo Princip, a turtle flipped onto its back. These break up pages of poetic text, exploring the phenomenon of meaning-making through narrative fiction and the vague approximations of mythic archetypes.
An excerpt from the catalogue gives a hint to the fantastical-meet-theoretical vibe of Special Features:
…If we come upon four baby footprints made by a baby girl we must
consider that those four footprints could be four handprints in the form of four feet made by four adults of various genders. The trajectory from sender desires to be inscribed by the receiver, and in this desiring the nearest possible sender (read: most apparent or ‘first-thought’) will most often be considered the legitimate, baby girl. And in this way the path traced has about it not just the folly to cause its origin to be overlooked, but also to verify an auxiliary. What is implied here is that the trace has the extraordinary gift of making true the untrue, to make reality of a fantasy, as a Giraffe darts most unexpectedly into the text and smears its yellowish complexion onto a cloth draped near the door. It is in this way that the talent of the trace is not in its capacity to recall an origin, but in its habit of inviting a slippage, or drawing out the imaginary…
The Mexico City-based poetry collective opens the exhibition with a surreal press release that mentions sailing turtles and dolled up giraffes, but little else. Their Tumblr reveals similar intentions, with uncanny quotes and quirky rebuses alongside bizarre videos of men chained in their underwear.