Monday, 18 June 2007


On an invitation of the Centre d’édition contemporaine
Perros Negros (Mexico City) & Toasting Agency (Paris) are presenting :
Exhibition from June 23 to September 2, 2007
Opening on Friday June 22, 2007 (from 6 pm)

With Sean Snyder (Berlin), Jeremy Deller (London), Karl Holmqvist (Stockholm/Berlin), Bernadette Corporation (Paris/Berlin), Artemio (Mexico City), Reena Spaulings (New-York), Bruno Serralongue (Paris), Claire Fontaine (Paris), Jennifer Allora-Guillermo Calzadilla (San Juan), Jay Chung & Q Takeki Maeda (Berlin/Düsseldorf), Mario García-Torres (Los Angeles/Mexico City) and Minerva Cuevas (Mexico City)

Redux version and inevitably different from an exhibition – preceded by a one month residence – which took place in Mexico City at the beginning of the year, OTRA DE VAQUEROS brings together artists who work in a singular way starting from the remains of the concept of culture and its contemporary misadventures.

"When considering Otra de vaqueros (Another Story About Cowboys, a Mexican saying that refers to an almost unbelievable story, a story that here seems to remain unnamed), one gets the sense that the exhibition as a whole was thought as a clever intervention in the specific context of Mexico city’s artistic scene, which is probably one of its most powerful assets. The show seems to reinvigorate the disinterested enthusiasm that labeled the Mexican cultural sphere of the last decade but this time brandishing as a collective political statement the refusal of a fixed identity and the reinvention of the artistic self. The exhibition brings together artists and collective initiatives that question the problematics raised by the notion of authorship and style. By using distorted or constructed identities through production and branding, some of them advance specific spaces in which to develop their practice such as Bernadette Corporation, Reena Spaulings and Claire Fontaine. This critical approach seems to go hand in hand with what turns out to be the main premise of a great number of works, that is an activist character pointing to the creation of social alternatives that aspire to challenge the multinational economical and political powers of today. These range from Bruno Serralongue’s quasi-journalistic photographs of meetings and protests that replicate to the instrumentalization of information by the media, to Bernadette Corporation’s famous Get Rid of Yourself, a post 9-11 film-tract aligned with the spirit of anarchic movements aiming to recreate the anonymous fierceness of a shared resisting experience. In a similar spirit, Claire Fontaine’s We Are All Whatever Singularities, a text inspired by Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben, focuses on the intensity of life and its affects in order to promote a sense of a possible future as a remedy to the colonization of our subjectivities. Some works point to a more day-to-day strategies of individual resistance such as Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla’s Sweet Gland, Sweet Lands... (a video depicting a roaster improvised on the wheel of the back axle of a suspended car), or refer to the everyday impact of major companies, not on the lives of regular citizens but of those that are currently involved in the Middle East conflicts as in Sean Snyder’s video Casio, Seiko, Sheraton, Toyota, Mars. Others draw on long-lasting historical associations like Minerva Cuevas’ mural painting morphing Scrooge McDuck with images from the Spanish colonial times portraying the local “savages”. This piece echoes with Claire Fontaine’s Foreigners Everywhere, a neon modified to fit the specificities of the context that was this time translated not into Spanish, as one would expect, but into Náhuatl, a pre-colonial language in the region.

Although the works in Otra de vaqueros are bound by the artists’ criticality and suspiciousness regarding, among other things, the artistic system that brought them together, interestingly enough it is those very same processes of exchange that, raising the artists enthusiasm for the residency preceding the show, might help to renew the spontaneous politicization of art-making in a locale that feels everyday closer to the global cultural centers."

Exhibition presented by the Centre d'édition contemporaine at the Bac - Bâtiment d'art contemporain
28, rue des Bains et 10, rue des Vieux-Grenadiers, 1205 Genève
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 11 am to 8 pm

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