Saturday, 17 March 2012

'NO LONE ZONE' CURATED BY TAIYANA PIMENTEL AND IRIA CANDELA AT TATE MODERN'S LEVEL 2 GALLERY


Teresa Margolles, Flag II, 2009
Fabric impregnated with blood collected from execution sites in Mexico


David Zink Yi, Huayno and Fugue Behind, 2005
shot in the market of Huancayo in Peru, a man plays his harp, we see the indigenous population behind


exhibition view


Cinthia Marcelle, Leitmotiv, 2011






Tercerunquinto's brilliant 'Public sculpture in the urban periphery of Monterrey', 2003–2006
concrete platform built as a post-minimalist sculpture in an informal settlement and occupied by the community for political, religious or festive uses.


Tercerunquinto's less brilliant, IT IS NOT THE ECONOMY STUPID, 2011
proposal for text openings in a wall with a view to New York City



Cinthia Marcelle, The Heiress, 2011


David Zink Yi, Untitled (Architeuthis), burnt and glazed clay, 2010

I'm not quite sure what the giant squid is doing in the exhibition, some alien unconscious emerging from the Thames? alienation within otherness? a magical realism presence? the need to have a sculpture occupying space in the exhibition? An echo with Marcelle's video? While all of the other works in the exhibition seem to have a relationship to the earth/ground and a representation of a social reality (New Social Realism seems to have become the new 'Magiciens de la Terre' for those coming from post-underdevelopment, or the "vulnerable environments that proliferate in the context of postcolonial globalisation"), this one comes from the confines of the ocean and natural history.

 
Terecerunquinto's audio piece, Integration of the Consulate General of Mexico in Miami to the exhibition Mexico Sensitive Negotiations, 2002


Teresa Margolles, Score Settling 2008
10 carat gold jewellery, including an inlay of pieces of broken glass








press release:
Level 2 Gallery: No Lone Zone
Tate Modern: Exhibition
27 January – 13 May 2012

‘No Lone Zone’ is a military term designating an area where, for reasons of safety and security, the presence of just one person is not allowed. The phrase can also be used metaphorically to describe a highly sensitive or unstable place, such as the vulnerable environments that proliferate in the context of postcolonial globalisation. This exhibition presents a range of works by Teresa Margolles, Cinthia Marcelle, David Zink Yi and Tercerunquinto all formally and thematically concerned with the intersection of history, nature and politics.

The participating artists are from Latin America, but each engages with how a particular site and its local history are mediated by the networks of global communication. Sculpture, video, photography and installation reflect an artistic practice that examines the interval between the observation of an experience and its narrative, and where the artwork does not simply act as a representation of an event, but rather as its vestige or trace. The show is curated by Iria Candela and Taiyana Pimentel.

This exhibition is a collaboration between Tate Modern, London and Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros, Mexico City. The curatorial exchange is supported by the World Collections Programme with the collaboration of Gasworks. The Level 2 Series has been made possible with the generous support of Catherine Petitgas.

*****
curators text:
No Lone Zone
by Iria Candela

‘No Lone Zone’ is a military term designating an area where the presence of just one person is not allowed. Determined by reasons of both safety and security, this two-person rule – which implies mutual observation – is often applied on nuclear sites, but also in laboratories, banks and casinos. However, the phrase can also be used metaphorically to describe a highly sensitive or unstable place, such as those vulnerable environments that proliferate in the context of postcolonial globalisation. With the concept of ‘survivability’, [1] Judith Butler discusses the social conditions that make life sustainable within such critical habitats, arguing that our very survival depends on recognising how we are bound up with others.

No Lone Zone presents a range of recent sculptures, videos, photographs and installations which are formally and thematically concerned with the intersection of history, nature and politics. The artists in this exhibition are from Latin America, but each of their works engages with how a particular site and its local history are mediated by the networks of global communication. Their artistic practice examines the interval between the observation of an experience and its narrative, where the artwork – as mediator or vehicle of a story – does not simply act as a representation of an event, but rather as its vestige or trace.

Teresa Margolles investigates the socio-cultural implications of violent deaths in contemporary Mexico. Score Settling 2008 is based on a series of murders committed by drug dealers in the Sinaloa region. Motivated by revenge and to set an example, these killings are perpetrated in the street by the narcos, who shoot their victims in their cars. Margolles collects the glass fragments of the shot-out windscreens left on the asphalt and then commissions jewellery resembling that typically worn by the narcos, replacing the inlays of precious stones with little pieces of broken glass. Exploring the notion of sculpture as a testimony of an absent body, the artist uses the memorial value of the vestige, reflecting an understanding that ‘what remains is also what resists the most’.[2] In Flag I 2009, Margolles impregnates a piece of fabric with human blood and other fluids from execution sites on the northern border of Mexico. The solemn and official form of the flag here embodies a traumatic reality, challenging the viewer with the drastic subversion of its original meaning.

David Zink Yi’s Untitled (Architeuthis) 2010 presents the deflated body of a five-metre-long squid in a pool of black ink on the floor of the gallery. The viewer’s surprise in encountering this extraordinary specimen is intensified with the realisation that its pale and apparently viscous body is cold, glazed clay. In recent years Zink Yi has been experimenting with ceramics to create a series of sculptures that test the material to its limits. The architeuthis is a giant squid that inhabits the ocean depths and is generally only seen when its carcass floats ashore – a phenomenon that has increased its legendary status. The extreme difficulty of capturing a living image of the architeuthis in its natural habitat reflects its profound incompatibility with human beings. This mutual estrangement creates a kind of inverted No Lone Zone, highlighting the impossibility of direct contact. Zink Yi’s video Huayno and fugue behind 2005, shot in the market of Huancayo in the Peruvian hills, also conveys the challenges of reciprocal observation and understanding.

The Mexican collective Tercerunquinto examine the functions and meanings of a site with interventions into architecture and landscape that aim to uncover underlying social conditions. For Public sculpture in the urban periphery of Monterrey 2003-2006, they built a 50-square-metre concrete platform on the undeveloped outskirts of the Mexican city where plots of land had been occupied with makeshift dwellings. During a period of three years they documented the activities conducted on the platform by people in the community. Parties, sports tournaments, political and religious meetings changed the space into a forum or plaza. With this project Tercerunquinto investigate how human behaviour is determined by architecture, while at the same time interrogating the definition of public sculpture.

In Cinthia Marcelle’s series of highly formalist conceptual videos, short symbolic actions take place and leave behind a trace or a sound. Leitmotiv 2011, her most recent video, shows the collective effort of a group of unseen individuals sweeping water to prevent the tide from disappearing. The artist explains that this action emerged from ‘the idea of creating an artificial pool with many hands (and wishes)’.[3] The abstract forms of the waves resemble the surface of a painting in progress – thus presenting the floor/canvas as a territory of constant reformulation. The high-angle shot used by Marcelle in most of her videos reflects an unemotional gaze that ironically observes the absurdity of human routines, as well as the conflicts between individual and collective motivations.

[1] Judith Butler, ‘Survivability, Vulnerability, Affect,’ in Frames of War: When is Life Grievable? (London: Verso, 2009), pp.33-62. Butler argues that the body is vunerable in that it responds to the exteriority of the world: ‘Precariousness as a generalized condition relies on the conception of the body as fundamentally dependent on, and conditioned by, a sustained and sustainable world’ (p.34).
[2] Jean-Luc Nancy, ‘The Vestige of Art’, in The Muses (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1996), p. 81.
[3] Email from C. Marcelle to the author, 5 December 2011.

http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/exhibition/project-space-no-lone-zone

visti the Sala de Arte Publico Siqueiros version of the exhibition here

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