Damián Ortega, Elote clasificado, 2005, one of a set of four digital prints, 11 x 14".


“Damián Ortega: Do It Yourself”

Institute of Contemporary Art

September 18, 2009–January 18, 2010

Curated by Jessica Morgan

Due in part to his background as a political cartoonist, Mexico City–based Damián Ortega has a knack for animating objects in unexpected yet incisive ways. Cosmic Thing, 2002, a fastidiously exploded 1983 VW Beetle whose disassembled parts are suspended in midair, is characteristic: at once playfully destructive and rigorously diagrammatic. A common car in Mexico, the Bug is one of many stereotypically Latin American products stacked, rolled, or pulled by Ortega, along with tortillas, pickaxes, and bricks. Indeed, this exhibition, which includes eighteen sculptures, photographs, and videos made between 1996 and 2007, promises not only technical finesse but a wry commentary on the movement of global commodities. An accompanying catalogue features essays by Gabriel Kuri and Jessica Morgan and a selection of the artist’s writings.