5/02 – 7/04/2019
Curated by Jonatan Habib Engqvist and Gabriel Mestre Arrioja
The exhibition Earth - Body takes its title from the work that artist Ana Mendieta elaborated at the end of the 1970s during visits to Mexico. It is specifically designed for the Geological Museum of Mexico City, with the opening commencing the Mexico City Art Week 2019.
This unique venue located in a once luxurious Porfirian style neighbourhood is the honorary headquarters of all geological societies in Mexico and houses collections of minerals, fossils and meteorites. It belongs to the National Autonomous University (UNAM), which is the oldest in the Americas, founded centuries ago, with parts of the collections dating back to that time. The museum opened to the public in 1906, four years before the Mexican Revolution and it is remarkable that it never closed it's doors during the following decade of conflicts. The site is in other words both congested and important for historical and scientific reasons besides the unique architectural qualities that create a particular atmosphere to experience and produce contemporary art.
12 artists have been invited to present site-specific works that engage with the collections and a unique 19th century interior that represents the ideals and dreams of the time, both in science and in politics. Bringing contemporary art into this museum is a means to reflect on earlier statements of modernity, ideas of failed progress and development, while also introducing a number of contemporary art practices from outside the urban and suburban mainstream. The exhibition addresses questions of feminism, nature, immigration and decolonization through different notions of body and earth, while also attempting to introduce indigenous knowledge in order to reclaim and recover the space beyond stigmatisation.
Artists: Abraham Gómez, Ane Graff, Anna Rún Tryggvadóttir, Gabriel Mestre Arrioja, Héctor Vargas, Hesselholdt & Mejlvang, Marja Helander, Nikolina Ställborn, Pablo Castillo, Pepe Mogt and Raymundo Barnett.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a program of live performances, talks and screenings, including talks by Jacek Sosnowski on necropolitics and extractivism, Karen Cordero, PhD, about notions of feminism and ecology, a talk about the trail of cinematography within the Seri territory from 19th century until today by filmmaker Antonio Coello, Seri rapper Zara Monroy, and a talk by Tsotsil artist and scholar Margarita Martínez Pérez, PhD, from San Juan Chamula, Chiapas.
Opening Programme, February 5th:
1pm Opening ceremony in the presence of the artists and curators
2pm Seri chants and dance about the creation of sky, the sea and the desert by artists Raymundo Barnett and Galia Romero Astorga from Punta Chueca, Sonora
2:30pm Curators tour
3:30pm Screening and presentation by Sami artist Marja Helander on her film Eatnanvuloš Lottit – Birds in the Earth (2018) selected for the Official Short Film Section of this year’s Sundance Film Festival
5pm Panel discussion with artists and curators, moderated by Jacek Sosnowski
6pm Performance by Raymundo Barnett followed by collective and individual cleansing ceremonies with indigenous medicine
7pm Live multimedia concert with Pepe Mogt from Nortec Collective presenting his piece Quadripont from the borderlands of Tijuana and San Diego
Installations build with the aid of designers Carla Santillian and David Medina.
The project is supported by Fomento Cultural Ponce-Kurczyn, Instituto de Geología, UNAM, Museo de Geología, The Danish Arts Foundation, Frame Contemporary Art Finland, Icelandic Visual Arts Fund, Myndstef, The Nordic Culture Fund, The Nordic Art Association, Office for Contemproray Art Norway OCA, Propaganda, The Swedish Arts Grants Comittee's International Exchange Programme for Visual Artists Iaspis, and the Danish, Finnish, Norweigan and Swedish embassies in Mexico.