Coco Fusco


    Curated by Cristian Aravena, Sol Henaro, Alejandra Moreno, and Brian Smith

    Performance art in Mexico is broad in scope and hetero­geneous in style. It took root in the 1970s, when pro­ponents of the medium ushered in their postmodern sensibility while drawing inspiration from their country’s popular cultural and religious traditions, from masked wrestling and ranchero balladry to the gestures and iconog­raphy of Catholicism. They introduced feminist aesthetics, upended Mexico’s dominant pictorial tradition, and elab­orated models of socially engaged collective practice. Museo Universitario Arte


    The political events of 1968 had a direct effect on Mexico’s art scene. As that year’s Olympic host, the Mexican government planned a concurrent celebratory art show titled “Exposición Solar” that many leading art- ists rejected for its conservative premise. Seeking to break with the formalist styles and pro-government stance of earlier generations, and angered by mounting government repression that culminated in the infamous Tlatelolco massacre of student activists, a defiant young cohort that included Vicente Rojo, Felipe Ehrenberg, Marta Palau, and Helen Escobedo

  • From left: Wu Tsang, Untitled, 2015, fabric, metal stand, crystals, 80 × 32 × 32“. Wu Tsang, Untitled, 2015, fabric, metal stand, crystals, 73 × 18 × 16”.



    IDENTITY IS THE ACT of putting the self together each day, for a brief moment that is both vulnerable and automatic. As a metaphor, imagine you are getting dressed. As you add clothes to your body, your image changes. The clothing creates a thin, porous layer between your internal sensory apparatus and its outward presentation. Why do you dress? How do you decide—what is the feeling of having made a right or wrong choice? Do you have a choice? Do you protect yourself? Is there anything natural about it?

    Wu Tsang is an artist based in Los Angeles; this text is based on notes for a

  • Teresa Margolles

    Octavio Paz once wrote that Mexicans treat death as their favorite toy, but his words preceded the drug wars that ripped his country apart. Although Mexican society has suffered more than one hundred thousand violent deaths in the past decade, few artists there have ventured to comment. Teresa Margolles stands apart, having pursued the subject of death for twenty-five years. She has turned bloody sheets used to retrieve murder victims into paintings, entombed a stillborn fetus in cement, filled galleries with steam made from water used to wash corpses, and provided coffins