Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Mexico at the Katzen

When you think of Mexico, what images pop up in your mind’s eye? The AU press release says that "You may think of stereotypical icons such as the Mexican flag or a sombrero, or news stories about Mexico such as those focused on tourism, immigration policy, poverty, or violent drug cartel crime. The stereotypes may also inform your thoughts about Mexican art: you may have prescribed ideas of what Mexican art would or would not look like." 

I also think of some of the paradoxes of this gorgeous country, such as their demands for an open US immigration policy towards Mexicans while Mexico has one of the toughest and most brutal anti-immigrant set of laws on the planet (Mexico has its own illegal immigration problem from its southern borders); or the justified Mexican pride on the influence of its indigenous Native American population on Mexico's ample cultural fottprint, while at the same time being a very repressive government towards its own Native American nations. It is with these paradoxes in mind that I am really looking forward to this exhibition at the Katzen.
MEXICO: EXPECTED/UNEXPECTED— an exhibition that will make its East Coast debut at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center on Saturday, June 9— defies commonly held stereotypes about Mexico and its art, exposing unexpected images and perspectives created and communicated by some of Mexico’s most influential contemporary artists. The goal?  To encourage new thoughts about Mexico and its place in the international, contemporary art scene.
The exhibition, the largest one of contemporary Mexican art to show in Washington, D.C., comprises works selected from the Isabel and Agustín Coppel Collection, one of Mexico’s most comprehensive contemporary art collections.  Works by leading contemporary Mexican artists such as Francis Alÿs, Jorge Méndez Blake, Gabriel Orozco, and Pedro Reyes, are presented beside works by artists from other Latin American countries, Europe, and the United States, including Gordon Matta-Clark, Ana Mendieta, Ed Ruscha, and John Baldessari.
MEXICO: EXPECTED/UNEXPECTED at the American University Museum is sponsored by the Mexican Embassy and the Mexican Cultural Institute. As part of the collaboration with the Mexican Cultural Institute, Mexican artists will visit D.C. for a few months while creating installations for the exhibition.
Gallery Talk: Mexico: Expected/Unexpected
Saturday, June 9, at 5 p.m.
Featuring Exhibition Curators Carlos Basualdo and Mónica Amor

Artists' Reception
Saturday, June 9, from 6–9 p.m.

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