Claudia Arozqueta

  • Cornelia Parker, Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View, 1991, blown up garden shed and contents, wire, light bulb, dimensions variable.
    picks January 14, 2020

    Cornelia Parker

    Cornelia Parker makes art about gravity: how to elude it, how we cannot. In many of the installations, sculptures, and films surveyed here, the English artist emphasizes a fragmented, paralyzed sense of history by fixing objects in midair. In Thirty Pieces of Silver, 1988–89, dozens of circles made of cutlery flattened by a steamroller hang from wires attached to the ceiling so that they appear to levitate above the gallery floor: poignant leftovers of the British Empire. (The pre-steamrolled silverware makes an appearance through a depiction in a tapestry weave.) The work’s title—the infamous

  • Isabel Nuño de Buen, Extracted segment, 2018, steel, wire,  papier-mâché, plaster, foam, Styrofoam, rubber, cardboard, dimensions variable.
    picks May 23, 2018

    “Dwelling Poetically”

    There is an inherent artifice in all representations. This exhibition, which offers a portrait of Mexico City by a dozen artists who live or have lived in the capital city, is no exception. Yet it raises an immediate question: While Mexico has attracted a diversity of foreign artists over time, how does one stage a show about the megalopolis and include only three Mexicans? Curated by Chris Sharp, this show is organized around the idea that a city’s identity is always in flux, that a city is almost impossibly composed anew each day by the millions who move through it.

    Mirroring how cities are

  • View of “Hilarie Mais,” 2017.
    picks September 18, 2017

    Hilarie Mais

    The work of Leeds-born, Sydney-based artist Hilarie Mais is minimal and meaningful. Since the 1970s, she has achieved renown both for creating painstakingly handcrafted abstract structures that study the aesthetic possibilities of geometrical shapes, and for embedding her work with autobiographical facts. Throughout history, circles and spirals have been related to life cycles and energies, just as grids have been linked to rationality. These connotations are present in “Tempus,” an ongoing series of monochromatic and multifocal constructions that the artist has created yearly since 2006.

  • Angelica Mesiti, Relay League, 2017, three-channel video, color, 8 minutes.
    picks June 12, 2017

    Angelica Mesiti

    “Calling all, this is our final cry before our eternal silence”: This was the last Morse code message sent by the French Navy as a way to mark its retirement of the communication system in 1997. Twenty years later, Angelica Mesiti draws on these poetic words in her latest exhibition, “Relay League,” a journey following a message’s different stages of translation through nonverbal forms of communication.

    A conversion of the ciphered text into a material medium can be found in Appel à Tous / Calling All, 2017, a wind chime of metallic dots and dashes representing the message that, when slightly

  • Biljana Jancic, Surface Tension, 2017, two-channel video, aluminum, chromakey tape, dimensions variable. Installation view.
    picks March 20, 2017

    Biljana Jancic

    A glass box with a concrete column at its center is flanked by two windowed walls—this is the Brutalist-style space that hosts the most recent site-specific installation by Biljana Jancic, an artist who creates compositions that respond to the architectural features of a given environment. Surface Tension, 2017, uses projections and reflections, made with light and duct tape, to explore this cubic space. Plants and shadows of a louver extend over the central white wall. Combined with those of visitors, the shadows seem natural, as if coming from the distant brise-soleil of the courtyard, but

  • Audrey Wollen, Objects or Themselves, 2015, HD video, color, sound, 20 minutes 2 seconds.
    picks November 14, 2016

    “Fiona Connor, Sydney de Jong, Audrey Wollen”

    Three artists whose work seems both conceptually and materially dissimilar and five press releases with different interpretations can be found here, though the title of Fiona Connor’s All the Doors in the Walls, 2016, is to be taken literally. Each door in the gallery was stripped of its function; they no longer serve as mediators or passages from one place to another but as static objects of art, disposed toward admiration for their simplicity.

    Two women, two beds, and two scars intermingle in Audrey Wollen’s Objects or Themselves, 2015, a twenty-minute video with a voice-over monologue by the

  • Eduardo Sarabia, Plumed Serpent and Other Parties, 2016,
acrylic, India ink, golden leaf, cotton paper, fiberglass, red clay, white ceramic, dimensions variable.
    picks September 13, 2016

    Eduardo Sarabia

    Eduardo Sarabia’s latest exhibition is a celebration of birds, including the quetzal, a sacred species in many pre-Hispanic cultures. The show consists of one work that shares the exhibition’s title, “Plumed Serpent and Other Parties,” and comprises hundreds of fiberglass reproductions of this iconic bird, as well as of the lovely cotinga, the squirrel cuckoo, and the roseate spoonbill. Centuries ago, feathers from all those species were used to create Montezuma’s headdress, now in Vienna.

    Installed in the gallery from floor to ceiling, evoking taxidermy at a natural-history museum, the bird

  • View of “Thomas Glassford: Siphonophora,” 2016.
    picks May 27, 2016

    Thomas Glassford

    A discrete but elegant forty-nine-foot-tall slender and white-colored structure floats in the museum’s central gallery. It evokes the formal features of Siphonophora, a type of marine animal from the order of Hydrozoa composed of various physiologically integrated polypoid and medusoid zooids all with specialized survival functions. Like the sea creatures, Thomas Glassford’s Siphonophora, 2016, is a single body made up of an amalgamation of individual entities. Leaf-like protruding shapes, little stalks, or trailing tentacles form a rhythmic colony, resembling at once both an animal and a plant

  • View of “Manfred Pernice,” 2016. From left: Vita Activa (Garbage Can), Vita Activa 1 (Cylinder with Metal Tree),  Vita Activa 2 (Prism with Display Case), Vita Activa 3 (Cylinder with Box and Book), all 2016.
    picks February 29, 2016

    Manfred Pernice

    This gallery inaugurates its expansion with a show by German artist Manfred Pernice. His first solo exhibition in Mexico City is rife with bright colors, found objects, and construction materials, which together result in ambiguous spatial constructions evoking Mesoamerican architecture with a modernist flavor. This manifests best in Cassette Lumex, 2016, an installation that recalls an ancient ball court with four trapezoid-shaped MDF bench-like structures—some trimmed with images of the artist’s works—that frame three rubber balls and the floor. This piece, which avoids the neatness of the

  • View of “José Carlos Martinat: How to Explain the Unexplainable?,” 2015–16.
    picks December 18, 2015

    José Carlos Martinat

    José Carlos Martinat’s current exhibition in Mexico City, “How to Explain the Unexplainable?,” takes its title from a federal governmental slogan that promotes national and international tourism in Mexico and is usually accompanied by images of beautiful beaches, blue waterfalls, and historical places. But these idyllic scenes are overshadowed by the inexcusable pandemonium of this country’s violent reality, as fed to international media around the world.

    This absurdity is the chief departure point of Martinat’s show, featuring a large site-specific installation also titled after the slogan.

  • Alejandro Almanza Pereda, Change the World or Go Home, 2009–15, T-12 fluorescent lightbulbs, dimensions variable.
    picks October 01, 2015

    Alejandro Almanza Pereda

    This past July and August, Alejandro Almanza Pereda’s solo exhibition “Everything but the Kitchen Sank” at SFAI’s Walter and McBean Galleries presented a studio in which visitors could witness the creation of photographs and a video of subaqueous still lifes shot inside a eight-foot-tall Kevlar pool. The resulting pictures feature a plethora of found objects and offer ephemeral and preposterous arrangements that experiment with the behavior of materials underwater. Take, for example, the theatrical video Like Steaks and Salads, 2015, which is divided into a series of acts where different items—such

  • Ignas Krunglevičius, Interrogation, 2009, two-channel video installation, dimensions variable.
    picks May 25, 2015

    Ignas Krunglevičius

    Ignas Krunglevičius’s work focuses on unmasking how language is marshaled into the service of power, from political rhetoric and demagogy to psychological persuasion. Interrogation, 2009, for instance, is a two-channel video installation based on an interview transcript from a 2004 murder investigation in the United States in which a woman was suspected of killing her husband with a shotgun. Similar to the way an interrogation room generates a power dynamic and tension from the moment a person steps inside, the layout of the installation is designed to maximize viewers’ discomfort.

    Upon entering