Wednesday, 21 April 2010


Activating the Collection is a series of exhibitions that reflects on and reactivates the art collection of Museo Tamayo. Its axis is thematic and interpretative, inclusive of straight or performative, discursive or visual, artistic or heavily-designed approaches to curating and exhibition making. The first exhibition in this series is 'Into the Belly of a Dove', guest curated by Raimundas Malašaukas, in collaboration with artists Gintaras Didžiapetris and Rosalind Nashashibi; it's organized at Museo Tamayo by associate curator Daniela Pérez. 'Into the Belly of a Dove' is based on the premise that everything is possible and nothing is real. It includes seminal artworks by Lynn Russell Chadwick, Helen Frankenthaler, Christo, Giorgio de Chirico, Jean Dubuffet, Joan Miró, Giuseppe Rivadossi, among others.

The exhibition space is a reconstruction in a smaller scale of the spaces in Museo Tamayo which are currently closed for refurbishment. It is a negotiation of scales, times and appearances. It can recall a film studio in which a cast of works of art fro the collection of the museum is brought together to transverse destinies and chronologies. 'Into the Belly of a Dove' offers, in addition to a staging of works from the collection, a close relationship with the archive images of these pieces, as well as the presentation of new photographic records that show etheir possible future. So finally not only the idea or possibility of the show as a cinematographic set or a photographic studio is exciting, it allows the works to perform simultaneously in the before and after in one same space; the staging of works and the photographs produced are caught together and forever in the twist of the maze.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010


El Gabinete Blanco
La Colección Jumex, Mexico City
14.04 – 5.09.2010

El Gabinete Blanco [The White Cabinet] has its origin in a group of paintings by Robert Ryman in La Colección Jumex, three of which are included in the exhibition. Ryman is known for his persistent and rigorous investigation of painting by way of the color white. By reducing his work to these two elements – painting and white – the artist can explore seemingly endless combinations through variations of paint (acrylic, oil, gesso, casein, gouache, enamelac, graphite and Varathane), the support (newsprint, gauze, tracing paper, corrugated cardboard, linen, jute, fiberglass mesh, aluminum, steel, copper and canvas) and the means of application (different kinds of brushes, knives and spatulas).

In this context, and despite its apparently reductionist character, white is open to a wide spectrum of readings: it is the elemental, the primary, the austere and the minimal. White is the absence of color and the superposition of all the colors, it represents the beginning of a story (the blank page) and the accumulation or final chapter of many others (as in Malevich’s Suprematist Composition: White on White, 1918). Thus, white is one of those uncanny words whose meaning can transform and coincide with its opposite. As Freud writes: “Thus heimlich is a word the meaning of which develops in the direction of ambivalence, until it finally coincides with its opposite, unheimlich”.

For Ryman, white is above all an instrument to see more. As the artist himself states, “White has a tendency to make things visible. With white, you can see more of a nuance; you can see more. I’ve said before that if you spill coffee on a white shirt, you can see the coffee very clearly. If you spill it on a dark shirt, you don’t see it as well.” White as a mechanism to see more recalls the white cube, and in fact this exhibition plays with three historically distinct models for the exhibition apparatus: the 17th-century cabinet of curiosities or Wunderkammer, the historical precursor of the modern museum; the 19th-century salon of paintings; and the 20th-century white cube. In this sense, the show is presented as a cabinet of white monochromes, gathering, under Ryman’s spirit, a wide range of possibilities – painting, drawing, sculpture, object, installation, photography, video, light, artist’s books, performance documentation and vinyl or paint on wall. In reconciling the white cube with its opposing historical models (the cabinet and the salon), the result is also uncanny: an excess of whites.

–Adriano Pedrosa, curator

Artists in the exhibition:
Julieta Aranda
Juan Araujo
Mary Corse
Eduardo Costa
Jose Dávila
Iran do Espírito Santo
Magdalena Fernández ()
Dan Flavin
Lucio Fontana
Fernanda Gomes
Tom LaDuke
Luisa Lambri
Louise Lawler
Glenn Ligon
Per Martensson
Vik Muniz
Gabriel Orozco
Lygia Pape
Nicolás Robbio
Nicolás Robbio
Sebastián Rodríguez Romo
Robert Ryman
Mungo Thomson
Laureana Toledo
Adriana Varejão


The Traveling Show

If time is the great theme of literature, displacement is the great theme of the objects. In literature, words, sentences and histories are re-articulated by means of memory and forgetting, undergoing changes through time – that mighty sculptor, in the words of Marguerite Yourcenar. Our perception changes over the course of a day, a year or a life. In the world of the objects, everything is in permanent movement: the world turns, blood circulates in our veins, we cross the street, the city, and the geography. In this context, every exhibition is in some way about traveling. The artworks migrate from the artist’s studio or from a collection to a gallery or museum; they are regrouped, recontextualized, juxtaposed to others. Everything here has suffered some sort of displacement. The result—the precise arrangement of the objects in space—is also an invitation to travel, for the encounter or discovery of different itineraries through the reading of the objects, their histories and experiences.

The Traveling Show is an exhibition about trips, passages, journeys, shipments, displacements and cartographies. Chronologically, the exhibition begins in 19th-century Mexico, with a group of European travelers who visited the country: Octavio D’Alvimar, Henri Pierre Léon Pharamond Blanchard, Baron de Gros and Jean-Frédéric Maximilien de Waldeck. Mexico’s Plaza Mayor (Zócalo) is a recurrent motif in the period, and the version presented here is the first made by a foreigner; its author, D’Alvimar, was a French General who was twice deported from Mexico for espionage. Two exceptional paitings from the Museo Soumaya appear as historical counterpoints to the contemporary, indicating two distinct 19th-century European views of Mexico: awe in light of the unknown (in Gros’ cave) and the construction of a fictitious past (in Waldeck’s ceremony). Two other travelers, from the 20th and 18th century, are referenced by contemporary artists in the exhibition. Tamar Guimarães, Steven Lam, Eric Anglès, Runo Lagomarsino and Sarah Lookofsky appropriate a passage from the text Mornings in Mexico, from 1927, by English writer D. H. Lawrence. Mark Dion followed the trail of North American explorer William Bartram through the southern United States during the 18th century.

In chronological sequence, we find a group of artists associated with the 1960s and ’70s who explored the relations between art and geography, displacement and territory: Vito Acconci, Alighiero e Boetti, Andre Cadere, Lygia Clark, Eugenio Dittborn, Juan Downey, Dan Graham, Douglas Heubler, On Kawara, Robert Kinmont, Richard Long, Ana Mendieta, Gina Pane, Claudio Perna, Robert Smithson and Lawrence Weiner. A group of contemporary artists working with video and film play with the traveling shot, the road movie or the journey: Allora & Calzadilla, Darren Almond, Cao Guimarães, Marine Hugonnier, Fernando Ortega, Thiago Rocha Pitta, Santiago Sierra and Carla Zaccagnini. In this context, two works in video are counterpoints to moving images of trips: one composed by movie-like credits in text form (by Mike Bouchet), the other by biographical statements (by Dias & Riedweg). At the physical center of the exhibition, which is designed to evoke a compass, an installation by Eduardo Basualdo, articulating displacement, time and light by means of gyratory elements, maps, fire and a faceless character. In the intercrossing of so many paths, other contemporary artists resort to different manners to explore in multiple ways a succession of elements related to traveling: bicycles, trucks, boats, airplanes, suitcases, postcards, maps, travel albums, airplane tickets, passports and intruders (a complete survey of all neon sculptures produced by Claire Fontaine in the series Foreigners Everywhere). If the objects gathered here speak of displacement, we also displace ourselves in space to apprehend them. Thus, new journeys are overlain atop others, repeatedly and successively. As in literature.
Adriano Pedrosa, Curator

At the occasion of these two exhibitions at La Colección Jumex, exceptionally about half of the artworks are loans and productions of new works. There are no plans for the show to travel.

Artists in the exhibition:
Vito Acconci
Franz Ackermann & Michael Majerus
Doug Aitken
Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla
Darren Almond
Francis Alÿs
Eduardo Basualdo
Walead Beshty
Mike Bouchet
Alighiero e Boetti
Andre Cadere
Jota Castro
Lygia Clark
Octavio D’Alvimar
Thomas Demand
Mauricio Dias & Walter Riedweg
Mark Dion
Eugenio Dittborn
Juan Downey
Lara Favaretto
Peter Fischli & David Weiss
Claire Fontaine
Thomas Glassford
Félix González-Torres
Dan Graham
Jean-Baptiste-Louis Gros – Barón de Gros
Cao Guimarães
Tamar Guimarães, Steven Lam, Eric Anglès, Runo Lagomarsino and Sara Lookofsky
Andreas Gursky
Louise Hopkins
Douglas Huebler
Carlos Huffmann
Marine Hugonnier
On Kawara
Robert Kinmont
Runo Lagomarsino
Jac Leirner
Richard Long
Jarbas Lopes
Mateo López
Ana Mendieta
Aleksandra Mir
Jonathan Monk
Rivane Neuenschwander
Gabriel Orozco
Fernando Ortega
Gina Pane
Diego Pérez
Claudio Perna
Rosângela Rennó
Thiago Rocha Pitta
Santiago Sierra
Robert Smithson
Emanuel Tovar
Adriana Varejão
Pablo Vargas Lugo
Jean-Frédéric Maximilien de Waldeck
Jeff Wall
Lawrence Weiner
Carla Zaccagnini