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Das phantastische Geheimnis des exotischen Universums
01 September - 06 October 2007
 
images
press release
biography
artist list:
Marcos Castro, Ricardo Cuevas, Alex Dorfsman, Paulina Lasa, Yoshua Okón, Ariel Orozco, Renato Ornelas and Benjamín Torres


______________BIOS, GERMAN AND SPANISH VERSION BELOW

Contemporary Art from Mexico curated by Paulina Lasa and Yoshua Okón

The show revolves around the question of cycles, repetitions, and, in anthropological terms, vices and fanaticism. The selection of works supports this cyclical view of the world with small formats in a wide range of diverse media, from drawing and sculpture, to video, installation and experimental movies. The participating artists live and work in Mexico City: Marcos Castro, Ricardo Cuevas, Alex Dorfsman, Paulina Lasa, Yoshua Okón, Ariel Orozco, Renato Ornelas and Benjamín Torres.

The pieces on display explore diverse stances to the subject, not only in the type of work but also in the point of view: irony, a critical outlook and poetics are all possibilities within themes that include phenomenons of Maths, Philosophy and the social environment of culture and contemporary art. In this way, it seeks an escape from a flat reading of what young art in Mexico City is, and at the same time subtley questions the hermetic or exoticising visions of the artistic production in the "third world".


GERMAN
Die Ausstellung präsentiert junge Positionen zeitgenössischer Kunst aus Mexico City. Die beteiligten Künstler sind Marcos Castro, Ricardo Cuevas, Alex Dorfsman, Paulina Lasa, Yoshua Okón, Ariel Orozco, Renato Ornelas und Benjamín Torres.

Die von Paulina Lasa und Yoshua Okón kuratierte Ausstellung schlägt eine Ausstiegsmöglichkeit von der eher einseitigen Lesweise dessen vor, was wir uns unter junger zeitgenössischer Kunst aus Mexiko City vorstellen mögen. Auf subtile Weise wird so die Frage nach unserer Weltsicht in Zeiten der Globalisierung aufgeworfen: mit welchen Erwartungen begegnen wir Kunst aus den sogenannten „Drittweltländern“? Wir begreifen, dass das „phantastische Geheimnis des exotischen Universums“ heute kaum mehr zu identifizieren ist, das „exotische“ jener „Weltkunst“ ist einer globalen künstlerischen Sprache gewichen, wie sie letztlich überall gesprochen und verstanden wird.

SPANISH
La muestra gira en torno a la cuestión de los ciclos, las repeticiones, y en términos antropológicos, los vicios. Se ha hecho una selección de trabajos que abordan esta cosmovisión circular, con obras de formato pequeño en general, y los medios abarcan desde el dibujo y la escultura, hasta el video y la instalación. Los artistas participantes viven y trabajan en la Ciudad de México: Marcos Castro, Ricardo Cuevas, Alex Dorfsman, Paulina Lasa, Yoshua Okón, Ariel Orozco, Renato Ornelas and Benjamín Torres. La intención fue buscar aproximaciones diversas al hecho, no sólo en cuanto al tipo de obra sino también en cuanto a las miradas que postulan, tanto la ironía como la reflexión y la poética tienen cabida en un tema que puede abarcar cuestiones matemáticas, filosóficas e incluso referentes al ámbito social de la cultura y el arte contemporáneo. De esta manera, se busca escapar a una lectura plana sobre lo que es el arte jóven en nuestro país, al mismo tiempo que propone un sutil cuestionamiento a las visiones herméticas y exoticistas de la producción artística en el "tercer mundo".






BIOS

RICARDO CUEVAS (Mexico City, 1978)
Lives and works in Mexico City.
He has presented his work in several collective shows like: Limbo, at Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil (México, 2006); 8th Biennale of Photography (México, 1997), Encuentro Nacional de Arte Joven (México, 1997); Ten Mexican Photographers: A select end of the century generation (USA, 1999.), Never Odd or Even, Marres Centre for Contemporary Art, Revolver - Archiv für Aktuelle Kunst, (Germany, 2006). He has been awarded with the grant Jóvenes Creadores (FONCA, México) in two editions: 2000 and 2006; and the residency program Banff Center for the Arts (Canadá, 2003), where he produced his first solo show: "People is afraid of Contemporary Art, what they don't know is that Contemporary Art is also afraid of People" (Studio n.9, Banff Centre for the Arts). In 2006 he produced his second solo show: “Beyond Love and Democracy”, at Gallery 44, Toronto, Canada. In 2007 he was selected to participate in the residency program of the International Studio and Curatorial Program, New York City.


MARCOS CASTRO (Mexico City, 1981)
Lives and works in Mexico City.
He currently studies Visual Arts at Escuela Nacional de Pintura,
Escultura y Grabado, La Esmeralda. His work has been shown in galleries like Proyectos Monclova (Mexico City), Galería Luis Adelantado (Miami
and Spain), Galería La Refaccionaria (Mexico City), La Dama de Lima
(Lima, Perú); institutions like Carrillo Gil Museum, Casa del Lago
(both in Mexico City) and other international art spaces.

Marcos Castros relationship with nature images takes the shape of a children story or a popular tale. Fantastic events occur in his drawings, which take us through as a narrative of a violent and cynical world, where adaptation is necessary but also disastrous.


ALEX DORFSMAN (Mexico City, 1977)
Lives and works in Mexico City and Berlin.
His solo shows include: It’s Almost Real, Isn’t It?, ART&IDEA, New York (2007); Metropolitan, Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros, Mexico City (2006); Paisaje Nocturno, El Mirador, Metro Insurgentes Roundabout, Mexico City (2006); Espacio Disponible, Garash Galería, Mexico City (2005); It’s almost Real, Isn’t It? Garash Galería, Mexico City (2004); Uno al Cubo, Centro Nacional de las Artes, Mexico City (2001). He has participated in collective shows through Mexico, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Spain, the UK and the US. He was awarded with the grant Jóvenes Creadores (FONCA, México, 2006) in the area of photography. In 2007 he published his first photography book: It’s Almost Real, Isn’t It?, Ediciones Brillantina, Mexico City.

Alex Dorfsman works basically with photography and video, focusing in the contrasts between nature and the artificial construction of it. His work proposes an analytical view about the processes of representation and abstraction of reality. Most of the times, of those related to nature in a cultural context.


PAULINA LASA (Mexico City, 1980)
Lives and works in Mexico City.
She studied Visual Arts in the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas of the UNAM. She has participated in various collective expositions, including: Declaraciones, curated by Guillermo Santamarina for the Reina Sofia museum in Madrid, Spain; A Place in Time, curated by Claudia Arozqueta for the Tobin Building-Camp Street (San Antonio, USA). Her solo shows include: I´m going to change the world, at ART&IDEA, New York (2007); Voy a cambiar al mundo, Aldaba Arte, Mexico City (2007); Voy a cambiar al mundo, Santiguo, Torreón, México (2007); Monsters´ Ink, ART&IDEA, Mexico City (2006). She won the grant by Fulbright-Garcia Robles for the 2007-2009 periods and has received the first prize in the Best Documentary section at the AluCine festival 2006 in Toronto, Canada. Since 2004 she is part of the Bordermates collective, with whom she produced about 10 events in public spaces, collaborating primarily with emerging artists.

Paulina’s interest in hope, naivety and optimism as subjects as well as an attitude within her public interventions and performances has been a common thread throughout her work. This is very well illustrated in the piece she presents for this show. ‘The Asphalt Virgin’ is the story of a supposedly miraculous apparition of the Virgin of Guadalupe and the social consequences that ensue.


YOSHUA OKÓN (Mexico City, 1970)
Lives and works in Mexico City and Los Angeles.
He obtained an MFA at UCLA, Los Angeles, California (1990-1994) and a BFA at Concordia University, Montreal, Canada. He currently teaches a video workshop at the University of California in San Diego. He was the founder and co-director of the independent art space La Panadería in Mexico City (1994-2002), where more than 100 exhibitions of local and international artists were held, and about which he recently edited a book. His work has been shown widely through venues like Galería Enrique Guerrero (Mexico City), The Project (Los Angeles/New York), Galleria Francesca Kaufmann (Milan), Galería Espacio Mínimo (Madrid) and museums like Herzeliya Museum of Contemporary Art, Herzeliya, Israel; Museo Carrillo Gil, Mexico City; Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros, Mexico City; Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, USA, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, USA, the New Museum, New York and PS1 MOMA, New York. He has participated in the Istanbul Biennial, Mercosur Biennial, and the 2002 California Biennial among many other important contemporary art events.
Right now his work is included in the show Escultura Social: A new Generation of Art from Mexico City at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago http://www.mcachicago.org

Since the mid 1990’s Yoshua Okón has produced video works that explore the complexities of contemporary societies, addressing issues such as reality/artifice, social stereotypes (class, race, gender), and authority/authorship. Okón discusses the political subtext of his work with an insolent and humorous tone that engages the viewer in a dynamic process of awareness.


RENATO ORNELAS (Ciudad de México, 1975)
He lives and works in Mexico City.


ARIEL OROZCO (Sancti Spiritus, Cuba, 1979)
Lives and works in Mexico City.
His solo shows include Ariel Orozco, at Galerie Suzanne Tarasiéve, Paris (2007); 50 actos de suerte, at Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros, Mexico City (2006); Lo que sucede y no se ve, at Myto Gallery, Mexico City (2005); Art Positions, Myto Gallery, Miami (2005); Ejercicios de peso, at Policlínico Asclepio, La Habana (2002); Homeostacia, at Centro Provincial de Artes Plásticas, Sancti Spiritus (1999); and El último concepto del dolor humano (The last concept of human pain) at Hospital Clínico Quirúrgico Docente, Sancti Spiritus (1999). He has participated in collective shows in Mexico, Cuba, France, USA and Australia.

Known for using the city and its inhabitants as a context of his practice, Ariel Orozco is an artist who produces complex and challenging works of art with virtually nothing. Political and social by nature, his work largely consists of actions and interventions, which he methodically documents.


BENJAMÍN TORRES (Mexico City, 1969)
Lives and works in Mexico City.
His solo shows include: Contenido Neto y sus Derivados, ART&IDEA, New York (2007); Volantes, Casa Vecina, Mexico City (2006); Derivados, MDF Gallery, Mexico City (2006); Parque de Construcciones, Galería José María Velasco, Mexico City (2003); Rotación XVII, Cielo Adentro, MUCA Roma, Mexico City (2002)
He has participated in collective shows through Mexico, Canada and the USA. He was awarded with the grant Jóvenes Creadores (FONCA, México, 2003) in the area of sculpture.

Part of Benjamin Torres´ sculptures are focused on working with the idea of landscape as an artistic gender in a three dimensional way. His sculptures are built from simple forms and assemblies that generate landscape spaces. As in the case of “Urban landscape under a table”, where a common wood table was turned around and altered using its own legs to build an urban landscape.