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Mexico City

SLIDESHOW: Mexico City Galleries, Part 3

by Michael Anthony Farley on March 29, 2017
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The diversity and sheer volume of art on view in Mexico City at any given point in time never ceases to amaze me. This week, I had an uncommonly un-cerebral experience of conceptual art critic Robert C. Morgan’s retrospective at Proyectos Monclova. At the opposite end of the aesthetic spectrum, I went down the rabbit hole of curator Iñaki Herranz’s pleasantly chaotic survey of young Mexican artists, El placer de la incertidumbre, at Casa de Cultura San Rafael. And at Museo Experimental el Eco, got to check out Folke Köbberling & Arturo Hernández having a demolition derby in the name of international relations and clean air.

Of course, I snapped plenty of pictures of all of the above.

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SLIDESHOW: Mexico City Galleries, Part 2

by Michael Anthony Farley on March 17, 2017
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Last month, I checked out what was on view at some of Mexico City’s galleries during the art fairs. Over the past week, I stopped by a few more. Highlights include Rurru Mipanochia at ArtSpace Mexico (bastion of queer contemporary art), SANGREE at Yautepec, and Mauricio Limón at Galería Hilario Galguera a few blocks away. Today is the last day to see Mauricio Limón’s show, and I highly recommend it.

All three very different solo shows share one thing in common: they mine Mexico’s turbulent post-colonial history with a sense of humor. Strategies range from queering pre-Columbian cosmology or hybridizing Mayan and classical European pottery to recycling imagery from currencies that failed in the face of globalization. Notably, none of this work comes across as bitter or preachy.

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We Went to Gabriel Orozco’s OXXO

by Michael Anthony Farley Whitney Kimball on March 15, 2017
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Gabriel Orozco has built a fully-functional Mexican convenience store chain inside the gallery Kurimanzutto. Almost everything is free.

Whitney: This triggered a Supermarket Sweep fantasy I didn’t realize I have been actively repressing every time I go shopping.

Michael: …with the aspect of monetary value removed, yet another set of limitations imposed, an almost-mania set in as we tried to adjust to a new value system.

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SLIDESHOW: Mexico City Galleries, Part 1

by Michael Anthony Farley on March 1, 2017
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MEXICO CITY- The past month has been a crazy time for Mexico City’s art scene between art fairs, pop-ups, and countless openings/performances at museums and galleries. I’ll be posting updates of highlights—starting with group show The Queen Falls at Galería OMR, Rafael Uriegas: Cueva Semilla Sol & Keke Vilabelda: Overwrite at Galería Karen Huber, and a pop-up from digital art edition producers Janet40.

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Material Light on Substance, Heavy With Dick Pics

by Michael Anthony Farley on February 10, 2017
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Is a bigger fair necessarily a better fair?

Having doubled in floorspace since last year, Material Art Fair feels like a totally different beast. The fair has moved to two lower floors of Expo Reforma, with larger booths arranged around “courtyards” for conversation and concessions. There are plenty of new exhibitors, and much of the work looks far more market-friendly than the wares last year.

Opinions remain divided over whether or not these changes are a good thing…

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Slideshow: Zona MACO, The Art Fair Where Commerce and Politics Make Strange Bedfellows

by Michael Anthony Farley on February 9, 2017
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Last year, I remarked that Zona MACO excels at being an “average” art fair.

I stand by that opinion this year, with the clarification that it feels a bit like the average of many art fairs: a bit of NADA, a big dollop of Design Miami, a dose of Basel, and flavors of Frieze. That makes sense, as it’s by far Latin America’s largest and most important art fair—many of the curated identities of fairs in hyper-saturated US markets come from necessity of branding when there’s competition.

And like I said last year, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Though this year, due to some floor plan rearrangements and somewhat less cohesive booths, the curated sections Zona MACO Sur and Nuevas Propuestas felt a bit underwhelming. That might also owe to (what seemed like) an increase in advertisers’ kiosks and design, publication, and food vendors, comparatively.

The good news: the quality of work in the General Section improved tremendously. Sure, there were many repeat, predictable artist, but the recent political turns in both Mexico and the United States haven’t gone unnoticed in the art world, thankfully. Scattered among the rows of polite abstraction, there was plenty of outright political work, particularly when compared to the December fairs in Miami.

Below, a sampling of the what’s on view, beginning with some of the more overtly political works.

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We Went to Mexico: General Idea at Museo Jumex Restored Our Faith in Art For Fuck’s Sake

by Michael Anthony Farley and Molly Rhinestones on February 8, 2017
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What’s On View: A retrospective of the Canadian Collective, General Idea (comprised of artists AA Bronson, Felix Partz, and Jorge Zontal.) A collection of works spanning two floors of the museum arranged semi-chronologically from their 25-year-long career in a vast array of formats including installations, video art, painting, publications, and performance.
Molly:I feel like I hit every point on my emotional spectrum walking through the retrospective…
Michael:this is the exhibition so many artists in our generation need to see right now. Over the past few months, there’s been all this self-doubt about the role of artists in times of crisis and whether or not an “art practice” is worthwhile…

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We Went to Protests: Scenes of Inauguration Resistance in Three Cities

by Michael Farley Whitney Kimball Corinna Kirsch on January 25, 2017
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MEXICO CITY, NEW YORK, WASHINGTON—Over inauguration weekend, three members of the AFC fam found themselves in different cities, united by pissed-off-edness at Trump and the rise of the Right-wing. On inauguration day, Whitney Kimball navigated the surreal belly of the beast: Washington, DC. Meanwhile in Mexico, D.F. Michael Anthony Farley joined in a #J20 solidarity strike, protest, and march from the U.S. Embassy. The next day, Corinna Kirsch was among the hundreds of thousands participating in the New York City chapter of the Women’s March on Washington.

Whitney: DC was a weird labyrinth of barricades populated by me and untold thousands of zombie people with stupid red hats trying to find a gap into the National Mall and failed. Everything blew.
Corinna: I wish the “caring-yet-silly” aura of the marches were mentioned more frequently.
Michael: To be perfectly honest, if I had been in the United States I would’ve totally been one of the fire-setting, window-smashing kids in black. That’s part of why I am in Mexico instead. But I do kinda want a tattoo of that limousine in flames with the anarchy sign…

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