previews

  • Escultura Social: A New Generation of Art from Mexico City

    Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (MCA Chicago)
    220 East Chicago Avenue
    June 23 - September 2

    Curated by Julie Rodrigues Widholm

    While the invocation of Joseph Beuys’s concept of “social sculpture” seems somewhat misplaced here, the exhibition’s shift away from work that makes sexy urban themes of violence, poverty, and the abject—a type that has been the cornerstone of most recent surveys of Mexico City–based artists—marks an important change in curatorial approach. Taking up the political strategies of 1960s and ’70s avant-garde art production, and adding more than a tinge of malaise, the show’s twenty artists contribute more than fifty works from the past five years—including phone cards produced on-site (Mario García Torres), a performance that combines dance and painting (Los Super Elegantes), and a confrontational video installation featuring a panther (Miguel Calderón)—which mingle the politics of local and global with a healthily ironic nod to the specter of “exotic” Mexico City, always hovering nearby.