Tabasco 216, Roma Norte
06700 Ciudad de México, CDMX
February 5 – March 29, 2019
Melanio Zapata (Nogales, Arizona, 1997)
Son of Mexican illegal immigrants working in plantations for several years, who were deported by the Immigration and Naturalization Services in 2012.
After his parents’ deportation, Zapata decided to leave the US despite his American nationality and moved to the Mexican city of Culiacan, where he initiated his artistic practice, which covers a diverse scope of expression from drawings, painting, sculpture and installation.
His conceptual line is consistent around the concepts of human migration, appropriation, dark humor and the expression of the absurd in the contemporary political context, materialized in quite diverse and surprising forms.
After his mother’s death in 2015, Melanio Zapata reflected on the work his mother carried out as a housekeeper at a motel in Nogales, Arizona, where her daily activities consisted of cleaning rooms and vacuuming halls.
Zapata conceived Carpet Crawlers as a way to emotionally reconcile himself with the void left by his mother in his life. But the work also reaches towards the existential parallel of migrant Mexican workers in the United States, whose lives remain hidden, plunged in everyday invisibility as they provide cheap labor for tasks that others refuse to perform.
Zapata gave himself the task to anonymously and surreptitiously strip pieces of carpet from the rooms of luxury hotels in Southern California where he lodged. He systematically gathered these fragments to create a mosaic carpet that covers a sound installation on which audiences can walk as they listen to the subtle melody that emanates from the ground.
The song Carpet Crawlers (1974) by Genesis is about fantastical beings that live in the apparent invisibility of rugs. Zapata turns this melody into an anthem for a surreal and moving world populated by lowly crawling creatures struggling to take their place in a world that belongs to others.