Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to announce ACIREMA, a group exhibition curated by Cesar Garcia and opening Saturday, July 14, 6 to 8pm.
In 1943, the same year he founded The Studio of the South (Taller del Sur), Uruguayan constructivist artist and art theorist Joaquin Torres-Garcia produced a small charcoal drawing depicting an inverted South American continent. A simple yet resonant gesture, Torres-Garcia’s America Invertida has since become a powerful symbol for what the artist once termed “the global south”–those regions and terrains molded and shaped through the complex and violent histories of colonization, occupation, and ongoing Western intervention. An advocate for a renewed form of engagement with localized contexts and practices, Torres-Garcia championed the possibilities of forging new ways of knowing outside the margins of Eurocentric intellectual histories. Inspired by the potential of future transformation, Torres-Garcia’s practice has become emblematic of a generation of Latin American artists active during the post-WWII period that sought the realization of new worlds molded through artistic innovation–inverted utopias whose boundaries and logics have now too often been employed by Western cultural institutions as organizing tenets for contemporary artistic production from the region.
The title of this exhibition, ACIREMA, is a textual literalization of Torres-Garcia’s proposition of an ‘inverted’ America. A seemingly fictitious word, ACIREMA functions as a fragmented and complex portrait of a terrain that resists simple deciphering and generalization. Organized as a series of focused localized pulses from the region, this exhibition features the work of emerging artists from Latin America born between 1980-1986–the first generation of practitioners to be born and come of age in post-dictatorship democracies. Informed by the contexts in which they live and work and responding to local urgencies, the work of the artists featured in this exhibition puts forth new perspectives that advocate for the creation of new languages, value economies, and mediating strategies with which to engage the work of a new generation of cultural producers working in Latin America today; a generation that actively challenges the conventional framing and contextualizing mechanisms through which their practices are often situated. Working across a wide range of media, the practices of this generation of artists exemplifies what in recent years has been called the “New Realism” of our time–drawing attention to the physical surroundings we inhabit, to our lived bodily experiences, and to local realities through their conceptual approaches and their dynamic formal and material innovation.
The work featured in this exhibition further highlights this generation of artists’ conflicting relationship to art historical narratives, regional histories, and collective memory; shifting our attention instead to new conceptualizations of time, space, and the body that are created when these concepts come into contact with both the performative and formal dimensions of aesthetics. While some of the artists featured in this exhibition have been trained in Latin America, some have been trained abroad and currently live and develop their practices outside the region. This unveils subtle distinctions amongst artistic approaches that speak to new models and visions for artistic education and training outside the United States. In drawing attention to these intergenerational differences and contradictions the exhibition moves away from a consolidating presentation format and instead presents a vibrant and constantly morphing landscape of artistic sensibilities where subjectivity extends beyond geography, history, and heritage and is instead conceived as both space and circumstance, as contextual and tactically created; an imaginary where art functions not solely as an object of representation but also as the trace of an action executed in a contested battlefield of meaning.
ACIREMA includes work by Antonio Vega Macotela (b. 1980 Mexico City, Mexico), Firelei Baez (b. 1981 Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic), Marcellvs L. (b. 1980 Belo Horizonte, Brazil), Edgardo Aragon (b. 1985 Oaxaca, Mexico) and Cesar Gonzalez (b. 1986 Bogota, Colombia) Marina Camargo (b. 1980 Belo Horizonte, Brazil), Tomas Fernandez (b. 1985 Santiago, Chile) and Liliana Velez (b. 1980 Bogota, Colombia).
While some of the artists included in this exhibition have presented their work internationally, for others this show marks their United States debut. For others, this will mark the first time their work is presented outside their home countries.
ACIREMA is curated by Cesar Garcia, Founder and Director of The Mistake Room, and the current U.S. Commissioner for the 13th International Cairo Biennale.