Reading time: 2 minutes
Cru Cru Brewery, Ciudad de México, México
July 30, 2018 – August 18, 2018
Cuando el sol emana más energía de la que nuestros ojos pueden absorber. Glaring Sights springs from the anxiety provoked by the fundamentally contradictory nature of political ideology — how it camouflages itself, pretending to disappear while it actually consolidates and perpetuates itself. The works here presented explore a variety of geographical and historical scenarios that consider the function of political ideology as a crucial element for the social construction of national identities.
Enacting a conscious effort to distance from conceptions of politics as a matter of parties or alignment with any specific agenda, this group of works addresses politics as a form of lived experience. Collectively they suggest an interest in the performative strategies through which political systems are shaped and give birth to control devices — be they visual, narrative, sound-based, etc. Thus, obsessive control of historical narratives, the sanctification of cultural heritage, the role of art in the phenomena of identity-based constructions, and education as the tool par excellence of political indoctrination are some of the topics that haunt these works.
The central concern of the exhibition is particularly timely as it coincides with the Mexican presidential elections and its heated public debate generates an intense local resonance. However, the show emphasizes the global reach of political ideology and questions how ideological tactics have been consolidated throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. The artist roster represents a wide sampling of nationalities and generations to highlight the lineage of a critical thought that has survived within the field of visual culture, even in the face of authoritarian regimes and their intense proclivity to censorship.
In this context, the metaphor of energy emitted by the sun acquires a revitalized relevance: the light (and radiation) that the star emanates always far surpasses the human capacity to absorb it. Somewhat paradoxically, during a solar eclipse when the sun seems to withdraw and languidly fade, its beams are actually the most dangerous — to look at them directly can cause permanent blindness. Likewise, when a political period or system appears to draw to a close, its deeply rooted logic actually transcends its previous expressions.
How can we then face these shifting and ungraspable magnitudes?
Artists: María Isabel Arango, Anthony Discenza, Jimmie Durham, Carmen Huízar, Lorena Mal, Armando Rosales, Rufino Tamayo, Marie Voignier, and featuring works by Adolfo Mexiac.
*The curators wish to thank the support and sponsorship from Cru Cru Brewery, Carbón 4 Printing Studio, Cine Tonalá Roma Sur, and Urbano Media Lab.