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General Expenses presents "Kilómetro Cero", and "Bodegón [Still Life]" (Project Room), a project of the Unidad de Montaje Dialéctico, CDMX

Hasta el 29 de julio en General Expenses, CDMX

Texto de Kilómetro Cero:

To think in Kilómetro Cero is to think in a kind of non-place, without specific coordinates but inscribed in a locality. This exhibition seeks to take into account the distance between the point of production of the art pieces and the exhibition space.

The overall view of this body of work directly refers to antipodean geographies, which in a self-referential comingand going they meet and coincide with the context of their own.

Texto Bodegón by Guillermo Santamarina:

Drawing from the gyroscope of Edgar Morin (“It is necessary to open the possibility of a knowledge that is both richer and less certain”), in the structure of multifocality of the clandestine art collective Unidad de Montaje Dialectico’s compositions, we find an axis in the concept of eventual refoundation starting with the quest, through the contours of the nebulous, serious, but also hopeful requirement of Cavern Cinema (its emblem of activism, resistance, and joy); and another component, with the flux of recurrently syllogistic poetics, amidst the tension of epistemological inquiry, the probable didactic proposition, the feasible political declaration, the indubitable platform of affects, the suggestive summary of phantasmagoria, and even the reckless and exciting registry diagnosing a nostalgia for some humanitarian utopia located in information society’s deteriorated perimeter.

The failure of oversimplified thinking, and of a socio-political praxis emerging from history-at-all-costs, have plunged contemporary humans and their world into a deep, radical squinting, while, paradoxically, they have forced them into making wagers and perpendicular inspections. Not in rectilinear directions, but in transversal circulations, in accordance with the perceptive abilities of the human brain. It is precisely from this capacity, in an organic ellipse, that—for the UMD—the stimulus of a new way of observing-thinking-playing-reacting- understanding emerges, pointing towards the cavernous paradigm of complexity: which, as such, should govern not only thought and logical uses—that is, our knowledge—but also our actions of functional coexistence, or our development as people. The paradigm of dialectical complexity implies communication and confident conquest, and not in absolute/ irreplaceable/reductionist/exclusive terms. The complexity of dialectical montage is a dynamic relationship and a certification of qualities; it does not exclude simplification, but instead integrates it as one of the elements of the thought of confronting the truth. Being multidimensional, and even accepting its latent contradictoriness, it is open and unclosable (dialectical complexity is incompleteness); it is uncertainty, and it is in that uncertainty that the strategies of the cinematographic pronouncements of this collective find their precedent.

The Bodegones of the UMD are essentially strategies. They are also catalysts dispersing the strategies of conventional histories and conventional aesthetics: those fishing nets of the subject en masse. As we know, the concept of the subject is irrelevant to the model of historicist simplification and taste, good or bad. For the authors of the simplified rhetoric Bodegones, the chance phenomenon that found two or more vibrant elements on the same pictorial surface is unimportant. The only thing they do, it seems, is make an acknowledgement (within the watchtower of ordinary culture), to the point of making these elements disappear from consciousness, on prescribing that the conjugations (subject-verb- complement) are a summary of something “pragmatic,” random, almost irrational. Or they are sustained by an iconological quality, but in a preconceived circumstance; as a substantial but vacuous structure, isolated/separated from everything that is not the singularity of an officially historical perspective, or of regulated aesthetics, and/or as a vaguely understandable metaphysical entity, which in no way affects functional urban knowledge.

In the UMD’s Bodegones, taxonomic volition does not exist as a prioritized sign, as proposed by a certain allegorical exercise in 18th century European painting. However, UMD’s work could be linked to this iconographic genre and its eventual service, through the way it registers statements emitted like voices of a psychogeographic discourse, or conditions captured in the domestic realm, between sedentary control and its fetishes of identity, pleasure, and submission, both of nature and of everything presented in the world, up to the quests of nomadic drifts, their situationist emancipations in tow. With discreet irony, UMD’s Bodegones unfold with images that attempt to flow—with a license of complicity—through the inventory of the indispensable and desired, or the registry of seducers and trivialities, as well as incorporations of vices, placebos, and distractors, thus critically and paradoxically subverting deferences made to consumerism (obviously, Bodegones are far from resembling commercials or advertising slots), or to the loss of or a consummation, with effective accents of duplicity, of raw materials and cultural characteristics that imperialism or industrial economies consigned to the impacts of a limitless extractivist reality. About this, UMD’s approaches to the notion of planetary patrimony attempt to take a relevant humanist position, in accordance with what’s legitimate and with the sustainability of environmental heritage, vitality, and ethics. And the same can be said with respect to an indictment of truth and social justice, employing a certain theatricality, likely of Brechtian roots—dialectic without a doubt—which confronts forms of generic exploitation. Dioramas that perhaps intend to represent still lives as allotments and goods within cartographies of emotions: on the table for tasting and the unlimited deferment of “vanitas vanitatum, et omnia vanitas.”

The dichotomy between the teleological (teleology is the branch of metaphysics dedicated to the study of the ends or purposes of some object or being; or, literally, the philosophical doctrine of final causes) and UMD’s singular aesthetics also plots these kinematic observations in dim light and haze. It traces but does not determine them, nor does it finalize them. It traces breaches within a hypothetical location of integrity along the course of the projections made by the grandiose concept of “vision”; but, fortunately, it also takes liberties in the territories of sleep, hallucination, or the assimilation of entropy, and even the enormous embrace of gratuitousness.

…with chimera shots, or probing our absurd pulses.

Still Life 1 performs a baroque misappropriation of the pictorial genre of the still life, which emerged in the 17th century along with the mercantile bourgeoisie, to trace a constellation of stories of violence, dispossession and colonization that gave (and give) shape to global commerce.

The piece is made up of five essays that work together as well as individually. Each one studies the migration processes of an object: oranges, pineapples, feathers, poppies and corn. Seen as a whole, they trace a still life that spans more than a thousand years and that cartographically goes from China to Europe, passing through Latin America, the Caribbean and the United States.



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