Fabiola Iza

  • François Bucher, A celestial event, no words, they should have sent a poet, 2017, cyanotype, 8 1⁄4 × 11 3⁄4".

    François Bucher

    The Greek word logos—reason, discourse—stands at the core of the Western conception of the world, denoting the rationality through which reality is shaped or perceived. François Bucher’s exhibition “Contact—(cosmic background noise explorer)” welcomed visitors with Logos, 2017—the word spelled out in white neon letters, hanging upside down. One could read the text right side up only through its reflection in a puddle of water: The unlit room where it was displayed had been carefully flooded. The space between the word and its mirrored image, like a gap between dimensions, was the perfect prelude

  • Magdalena Fernández, 2i019, 2019, site-specific installation.
    picks November 13, 2019

    Magdalena Fernández

    A visit to Magdalena Fernández’s retrospective feels like taking a quiz on modernist abstract art—her works echo that era’s compositions and motifs, summoning such icons as Malevich, Mondrian, Lygia Clark, and Gego. The pieces on display, however, which span the eleven most recent years of Fernández’s career, elude our expectations for appropriation art. Take 1iHO008. Homenaje a Hélio Oiticica (1iHO008. Homage to Hélio Oiticica), 2008, an immersive video installation in which the blue squares and rectangles from said work, projected onto all four of the gallery’s walls, slowly pace around the

  • Maruch Sántiz Gómez, Pedazos de tortilla quemada y lo mordido por el ratón (Pieces of Burnt Tortilla and Bitten by the Mouse), 1994, gelatin silver print on paper, 22 5⁄8 × 18 3⁄4". From the series “Creencias” (Beliefs), 1994–96. From “Los huecos del agua” (The Gaps of Water).

    “The Gaps of Water: Recent Indigenous Art from Mexico”

    Mexico, according to the anthropologist Guillermo Bonfil Batalla, struggles to reconcile the two poles of its identity: Imaginary Mexico, which adheres to the Western project and seeks to propel it, and Deep Mexico, constituted by a resistant social base made up of the peoples who incarnate Mesoamerican civilization. This persistent conflict is reflected in the country’s contradictory attitudes toward the material culture of its indigenous peoples: While pre-Columbian artifacts are cherished as national treasures and exhibited with great fanfare in museums, the contemporary artistic output of

  • Cosima von Bonin, OPEN YOUR SHIRT PLEASE 7, 2019, metal and plush toys, 56 x 55 x 39".
    picks June 14, 2019

    Cosima von Bonin

    Cosima von Bonin, as most familiar with her art already know, works from her bed. From there, she undertakes a collaborative process with craftspeople, modeling artists, musicians, and, in this case, her gallerists to bring her works to fruition. “Shit and Chanel,” her first exhibition in Mexico, could well be the materialization of a collective nightmare: The artist has filled the gallery with plush animal figures in comical situations of entrapment—physical, psychological, or otherwise.

    The show takes as its point of departure an anxiety-ridden GIF, in which Daffy Duck tries to avoid being

  • Helen Escobedo, Eclipse, 1968, lacquered wood, 79 1⁄8 × 29 7⁄8 × 28 3⁄4".

    Helen Escobedo

    Most narratives of Mexican art from the late 1960s through the early ’80s focus on the collectives known as Los Grupos and describe an almost caricatural display of macho anti-institutionalism and political commitment. These dominant histories overlook the work of contemporaries who shared those groups’ critical views but expressed them with a lighter touch, among them Helen Escobedo (1934–2011). This exhibition, “The Potential of Sculpture,” delicately shattered such historical clichés, bringing together more than seventy newly restored works—maquettes, sculptures, paintings, drawings, and

  • Daniel Monroy Cuevas, El martirio del camarista (The Cameraman’s Martyrdom), 2019, black pigment on paper, 8 1/4 x 11".
    picks March 25, 2019

    Daniel Monroy Cuevas

    In the inferno that engulfed Mexico’s National Film Archive in 1982, Daniel Monroy Cuevas has found a fertile context to explore the paradoxical relationship between fire and image-making processes. While his previous work has dealt with the unfolding of the actual conflagration—its beginning behind a screen, which happened to be showing a fire scene, and incineration of most of the archive’s holdings—Monroy Cuevas’s latest exhibition obsesses around the loss of a series of drawings from 1932 by filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein, fated to burn in the same event.
    The twenty-nine prints on display

  • Mauricio Rocha, Pabellón Fonográfico (Phonographic Pavilion) (detail), 2018, mixed media, dimensions variable.
    picks February 18, 2019

    “Modos de Oír”

    Marcel Duchamp’s early-twentieth-century plaint about the deeply retinal nature of art doesn’t seem to resonate in present-day Mexico, whose art scene can feel awash in visuality. Attempting to counter the situation, Laboratorio Arte Alameda and Ex Teresa Arte Actual have conducted a joint survey that engages entirely with sonic phenomena.

    “Modos de Oír” (Ways to Listen), which maps the national production of art-and-sound couplings, is vast, embracing sound art, electroacoustic music, sound-activated sculptures and low-tech devices, radio art, historical voice recordings, and more. At Ex Teresa

  • Lake Verea, Paparazzas en acción, 2013, C-print, 32 5⁄8 × 37 3⁄4".

    Lake Verea

    Conceived as a long-term inquiry into some of the most highly regarded housing projects in the history of modern architecture, “Paparazza Moderna” is an ongoing photographic archive initiated in 2011 by Lake Verea, an entity composed of the artists Francisca Rivero-Lake Cortina and Carla Verea Hernández. This exhibition, “Paparazza Moderna. Chapter II: Richard Neutra and Rudolf Schindler in California,” focused on images of five houses built in California in the 1930s by the Austrian-born architects Richard J. Neutra and Rudolf M. Schindler.

    Lake Verea produced the photographs—displayed here

  • Pedro Reyes, Puño rojo (Red Fist), 2013, volcanic stone, concrete, 39 3/8 x 39 3/8 x 3 1/8“. From ”Archivo Centro SCOP."

    “Archivo(s) Centro SCOP”

    What happens to cultural heritage in the aftermath of disaster? The exhibition “Archivo(s) Centro SCOP” reflected on the matter by using the building that houses Mexico City’s Centro Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Obras Públicas (Center for the Ministry of Communications and Public Works), or SCOP, as a case study. Completed in 1954, the edifice became a landmark in Mexican modernism, embodying an idea of public art as entailing the integration of large-scale murals and sculptures into large building complexes dedicated to public service. Gathering documentary material, recent works from five