(Ready) Media beyond Mexico

Now that the second phase of the exhibition (Ready) Media, we will review the topics dealt with by the artists and their meaning in the present in Asturias

Published: Jul 14, 2015
(Ready) Media beyond Mexico

Tania Candiani, image of the serie La Constancia, 2006.

By Semíramis González (@semiramis_glez), Semíramis en Babilonia

The ambiguous relationship of some formats in their relationship between past and future places them, often, in a complex middle land between melancholy and the possible. Video is one of these formats, toying between its classical and more current forms. During ten years since its opening, the Laboratorio Arte Alameda in México D.F. has showcased, documented  and researched the practices that combine art and technology in the capital city of Mexico. This review of the own archive, applied to a very specific social and historical context, is the base of the exhibition (Ready) Media. Hacia una arqueología de los medios y la invención en México that is currently being shown at LABoral. In total, 23 hours of audiovisuals in 200 works by renowned Mexican artists, selected and organised in sections by Juan Pablo Anaya and Gabriela Méndez, Jesse Lerner, Grace Quintanilla, Liliana Quintero, Manuel Rocha Iturbide and Israel Martínez, Bruno Varela, Erandy Vergara, David Wood and by the directors of the project, Karla Jasso and Tania Aedo.

Gustavo Romano, curator of the exhibition, points out the importance of gathering in this show ten years of activity of the centre, questioning not only the relationship art-technique in the 20th century buy beyond, taking into account also the new forms of communication over the network. The present could be defined then as a space made up by several voices. So, as we said above, the selection of works is based on the period from the early 1980s to the present day, and here is where one can clearly see the “mutation” speed of technical devices that have changed and aged at an unprecedented speed. Romano even suggests due to this speed “the serial production of products results in the serial production of individuals that adapt to the devices”.

Some pieces of this exhibition are related to the rescue of the obsolete; Even if many of them were originally created for video, that does not apply for all cases, as other works had to adapt to the medium although they were originally performance or participative art.

The first part of this exhibition has been shown at LABoral from April 15 until July 12, and the second part open on the 15 until October 25, when the show will close.

Among this new pieces being presented is Sarah Minter (Puebla, 1953), who is currently also showcased at MUAC (Mexico D.F.). Minter is a pioneer in experimental film making in Mexico. She comes from scenic arts but took video and moving image as her language, boosting it not only at technical level but also theoretically and in terms of recognition.

Sarah Minter, Háblame de amor, 2009.

Another one is Tania Candiani (México D.F., 1974), with La constancia vestida, vestidos de un cuento, 2006; In this project Candiani occupies a former textile factory in Mexico where she lived and worked during a month. When facing abandonment, the labour force becomes her premise and she embroiders during 30 days 400 metre of texts and she designs 30 dresses, turning the act of sewing and embroidering into a narrative resource loaded with meaning. The textile factory “La Constancia”, the second largest in Latin America, was the point of departure for researching on the jobs, trades and businesses that disappear. Candiani mentions a nostalgia for the media, the artefacts, the techniques and how it impacts the human factor in the chain of work creating a series loaded with visual poetry.


Tania Candiani, image of the series
La Constancia, 2006.

Certainly, a defining feature of this exhibition that opens now its second set of works is its wide scope and the ability to show, using the archive of Laboratorio Arte Alameda, how some topics are universal and timeless. It is true that these pieces have a very specific context and point of departure, the ten years of this venue in the Mexican context, it is also true that we can empathise with several of the narratives, in particular in the Asturian context, where technological obsolescence and industrial conversion are two factors that have left a deep footprint in the recent history of the region.

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