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REDCAT, Los Angeles, California, USA
May 12, 2018 – July 8, 2018
Pancha, the Colorful Bird and the Shining is the first solo exhibition by Mexican artist Jorge Satorre (Mexico City, 1979) in the United States.
The commissioned installation by Satorre consists of a series of sculptures and drawings that collectively portray alternative and subjective historical narratives, developed by the artist in contrast to standard, institutional versions of events and hegemonic discourse.
The central piece in the exhibit is a large installation of timber and metal that traverses the gallery to create a pointing machine, a measuring tool used by sculptors throughout history to create accurate wood or stone replications of plaster or terracotta models. Within the machine, Satorre arranges a series of handmade roof tiles he created in collaboration with the workers of a brickyard in the city of Ajalpan, Puebla (Mexico), who use traditional methods to mold the curved tiles, giving each one a unique quality and dimension. The objects reflect the fragility of the manual and traditional process that produces them, as well as chance and accident. A series of forged steel sculptures made from worn work tools are also incorporated into the installation, which evokes the scenario of a communal worksite, like the Brickyard, where co-workers with close bonds share long days, meals, and relaxed downtime.
Satorre’s creative process often includes collaboration with specialists from other fields, such as artisans, caricaturists, historians, and writers, who help inform and develop the project. The drawings in the exhibit serve as a conceptual tool to suggest the relationships between collaborators, objects, and fictional characters, which are present in the work and contribute to the narrative of the exhibition. The drawings featured in the installation include depictions of work sites or construction zones, sometimes including erotic illustrations.
Based on personal memory and collective stories, the components of the exhibition represent a kaleidoscopic method of incorporating personal sensations as well as external imaginaries into a depiction of factual events, to conceive a subaltern historiography. The many elements of the installation coalesce to suggest a history that does not intend to correspond to a linear and documentable succession of events.
Pancha, the Colorful Bird and the Shining Snake is organized by Ruth Estévez.