From the category archives:

MEXICO

“Tierra de Esperanza” Is Yoko Ono Done Right

by Michael Anthony Farley on March 21, 2016
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Last year, MoMA’s Yoko Ono retrospective bombed by taking the fun (and guesswork) out of her work. But in Tierra de Esperanza at Muso Memoria y Tolerancia, Yoko Ono shines with work that’s interactive, alternately playful and political, and sometimes bizarre.

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Revisiting “Powers of Ten” After Almost 50 Years

by Michael Anthony Farley on February 18, 2016
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At the Museo Jumex, Andrés Jaque / Office For Political Innovation mine the Ray and Charles Eames classic for content to politicize in the exhibition Superpowers of Ten. It is mostly a big stretch.

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SET: An Art Show in a TV Studio

by Michael Anthony Farley on February 12, 2016
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Last weekend I attended a pop-up group show from Public Art Projects on a quiet industrial block of Juarez just south of the Material Art Fair on its last day. The group launched a pop-up exhibition that mischievously embraced site-specificity in a venue that is by nature the most mutable of non-places: a television studio.

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On Zona MACO: How to Excel at Being an Average Art Fair

by Michael Anthony Farley on February 11, 2016
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Last week, I visited Mexico City’s Zona MACO (México Arte Contemporaneo), Latin America’s largest art fair. This was on the heels of our visit to Material, a satellite fair that impressed Paddy and me beyond our expectations. Walking into MACO felt just like visiting the most art fair-y of art fairs by comparison—which is to say, the immediate experience was predictable. There were long convention center lines, groups of “fresas” queuing up to take selfies in reflective sculptures, and familiar overexposed blue-chip names such as Alex Katz and Richard Prince. (“Fresas” is Mexican slang for “yuppies”, literally translating to “strawberries”.) MACO devoted a good chunk of floor space to design wares—from furniture to high-end sunglasses. I wasn’t immediately inspired to lend the event much thought beyond snapping some photos. With a few days of reflection, I realize Zona MACO is noteworthy for its extremes. And that’s not just the quality or quantity of blatantly commercial crap. For all the lackluster blue chip staples on the floor, I also saw an impressive amount of well-curated project booths that smartly positioned emerging artists and galleries in dialogue with the establishment. These two poles served a useful purpose: they lay bare how contemporary art fairs function. Zona MACO is the best model I can think of to demonstrate how for-profit fairs must work to remain both commercially viable and discursively relevant. For better or for worse, MACO excels at both.

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Material Art Fair: The Most Important Art Event of the Year for Artists

by Paddy Johnson and Michael Anthony Farley on February 5, 2016
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For years we’ve sung the praises of NADA, an artist-centric fair that celebrates and works to commodify the strange, the creative and the wonder. In 2015, though, we began to question the model. Was NADA a bit stale compared to recent years? Was ARTIST RUN, a new fair that celebrates the DIY artist, closer to our interests?

These questions came up a lot yesterday at the Material Art Fair in Mexico City, which AFC staff writer Michael Anthony Farley described as a “great compromise between ARTIST RUN and NADA. Farley was referring to the structure of the fair, which invited more dealers than artists to participate, but retained the artistic energy and life essential to new art by keeping the booth prices low. It’s a great fair.

I agree the sentiment, but would put it a little differently: Material tells us that NADA can easily be replicated.

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Your Mexico City Weekend Guide

by Michael Anthony Farley on February 4, 2016
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After a week jam-packed with openings, art fairs, lectures and performances, the weekend brings more of the same. And a lot of weird.

Saturday’s numerous openings are more or less located in an arc of neighborhoods surrounding Bosque de Chapultepec, so factor in some time to let yourself get lost in the park (really, one of the most beautiful in the world). End the night at a tres.cero.tres, a new DIY space in Roma Norte where I’ll be DJing a dance party alongside some of DF’s most fun punx and performance artists.

Sunday, head back to the area around Expo Reforma, where Material will be wrapping up with all-day “club” programming at Beverly’s. Then walk over to a mysterious pop-up from Public Art Projects and check out Uno Caña’s open studios around the corner.

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We Went To Mexico: Reading Comprehension Test

by Paddy Johnson and Michael Anthony Farley on February 3, 2016
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We’re in Mexico looking at art. We love it!

Today, a look at two shows, one successful, the other not. Our reviews of Josef Strau at House of Gago, and José León Cerrillo at joségarcía after the jump.

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