The best thing about the exhibition at Rove Gallery in Hoxton Square for me today was the unexpectedness and what that opened up. I didn't expect the gap between two meetings to be 45 minutes and therefore I didn't expect to have the time to jump into a gallery and see an exhibition. The White Cube was installing, 20 Hoxton Square is no more, the installation in the square's park wasn't inviting nor was the shitty weather so I hopped into Rove - Kenny Schachter's weird space on the east side of the square. Inside I saw what looked like a promising exhibition and which indeed was after it was explained to me by Marina Kurikhina. Consisting of 10 works, very carefully curated to bounce meaning off each other and around the room, by five mexican artists who are all seemingly recognised as 'relevant' yet who have never been banded together to demonstrate the importance of their work as a generation who have come of age more or less at the same time from the same soil before.
Each work is a heavy statement piece in itself, and although Marina explained succinctly why each was significant and why each was chosen she left the whole thing fairly much open to interpretation. These Mexican artists are concerned and exploring the very same themes through much the same mediums and mechanisms as their dry counterparts in Europe. Reflecting the heavy history of minimalism, referencing Albers, the ascetic definitions of Kosuth spliced with the tongue rammed-irredeemably-in-cheek Richard Prince, concrete and neon, black wall and stark white text extolling Ideology to be dead, bolex camera noisily churning out the positive and negative possibilities of Gozola Lebrija running away from us until no more than a dot - we are being shown what you would expect from any of 'our' artists, but not what you would necessarily expect from an exhibition showcasing exclusively Mexicans. This is why Marina is keen to point out that they are all Mexican, not because that is the reason in itself why they are there, it is part of it of course, but it is not a show about Mexican art as such, far from it. She is keen to point it out because you wouldn't otherwise know. It is not parochial, they are not communicating to an outside world about their country. They are true global citizens, engaged in themes that transcend the borders of their nation.
Marina is hosting a brunch this Sunday to discuss the exhibition and more:
Round table discussion with Pablo Leon de la Barra, Mathieu Copeland and Filipa Ramos, Sunday, 15th July 2012, 12pm
33—34 Hoxton Square
London, N1 6NN
For more information contact:
Maybe just maybe I'll see you there...
All this talk of Mexico reminded me of Francis Alys, Belgian artist who lives in Mexico city. There are certain living artists, that I am not necessarily sure I would like to meet because I would be so nervous and it's not necessary to meet them as their art is what is important for us, like Cindy Sherman, Doug Aitkin, Christo, Balka...that I am fascinated by and am very happy and honoured to share the same moment in the world with and Alys is seriously up there, the artist as Shaman, the artist as visual poet, visionary and 'realisor', he is a true contemporary artist. He allows you to download a heap of his films from his website www.francisalys.com. Here's one you might like: