Critics’ Picks

View of “The Corrupt Show,” 2013.

Mexico City

Superflex

Museo Jumex
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra 303 Colonia Granada
November 19 - April 13

Centered within the grounds of the Jumex juice factory, Superflex’s retrospective is broken into two parts, one of which encompasses a number of public presentations set for the exhibition’s closing weekend, including discussion panels on emerging economies and economical speculation as well as the unveiling of a prototype system for biogas-based energy production called Supergas.

Grounding the public program is the work presented within the factory. Titled “The Corrupt Show,” the exhibition acts as a career survey, highlighting the Danish collective’s seductive, commercially spirited critique of late-capitalist corporatism in which bankruptcy, corruption, and facsimile are colored with strategically glossy design. Within the museum’s central gallery, Copy Light/Factory, 2008, provides materials for copying designer lamp designs without permission from the objects’ respective copyright holders. Viewers are invited to assemble cube-shaped lamps from wood, glue, and papers that are printed with motifs copied from familiar lamp designs, and to use a large copy machine and desktop PC for scanning and printing various patterns. As today’s cognitive laborers briefly join a physical assembly line, their output originates from work of the creative class itself.

Opposite the workstations, a row of large cotton banners successively drapes outward from the wall (“Bankrupt Banks,” 2012). The series renders large-scale logos of bankrupt or acquired banks from around the world, visually charting the failure and collapse of financial institutions. More than a vivid tribute to failed economic policies, the banners evince the flat abstraction of contemporary corporate logo design: Polygonal home roofs float within negative white cloud space (Fanny Mae), a white palm tree outlined against orange and blue visualizes a coastal sunset (BankUnited FSB). The imagery, more subtly than Superflex’s own projects, often centers on motifs within a consumer’s daily life. This critical connection marks the core of the collective’s logic: to extract the insidious from a corporatized everyday, with a playful activism that engages invention and appropriation harmoniously.