Motley Mexico forms part of The Mexican Connection #1 Society vs. the State. A Club Interbellum project in collaboration with De Balie, Amsterdam.
This exhibition offers an intimate, albeit fractured glimpse of Mexican society through the eyes of a diverse group of Mexican, American and European artists. Mexico appears as a complex, exuberant, sometimes fierce but always resourceful giant – that subverts its own stereotyping and victimization. The exhibition is a collection of self-reflexive, contradictory stories – about the daily balancing act between the holy and the profane, pride and self-deprecation, hope and fear.
With Joaquin Segura, Démian Flores, Maya Goded, Andrea Carillo, Louis Hock, Edgardo Aragon, Annelys de Vet & Moniek Driesse and graphic artists from Puebla (Mario Martinez, Jesus Canizal Mendoza, Rafael Luna Rivera and Carlos Flores Rom).
Curated by Erika Sprey and Insha Klinkenberg
Welcome to Lipstick // Photographs by Maya Goded
The photos from the series Welcome to Lipstick are made in a Red Light District, at the border between Mexico and United States. This area, surrounded by walls, isolates the sex workers from society. What was once a chic and crowded neighbourhood is now a violent and lawless ghost town, where only a few dare to enter.
Maya Goded (Mexico, 1967) explores the subjects of female sexuality, prostitution and gender violence; in a society in which the role of women is narrowly defined, and femininity is shrouded in myths of chastity, fragility and motherhood. Maya has received numerous awards and scholarships, including the Prince Claus Award 2010.
The Subjective Atlas of Mexico // Moniek Driesse, Annelys de Vet & Analía Solomonoff
The Subjective Atlas of Mexico shows the contradictory traits of an identity that is in continuous flux. It is an open catalogue of our likenesses and differences as Mexicans, questioning the collective values that we share and the cultural image that we build of ourselves in the world around us.
Executed by designers Moniek Driesse and Annelys de Vet, in collaboration with Analía Solomonoff – the Atlas is part of a series of subjective atlases, where a varied group of artists, designers, photographers and other sensitive souls, choose personal topics, and use them as a basis to map their cultural identity.
Night Scope Series (1985-2003) // THE MEXICAN TAPES: A Chronicle of Life Outside the Law (1978-1986) // Louis Hock
Louis Hock (US, 1948) is an independent filmmaker who works in film, video, installation and interventions in public space. He researches the border between Mexico and the United States and touches on topics such as illegal migration, cultural assimilation and the value of labour. His work has been exhibited in solo shows at numerous national and international art institutions including the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
For Night Scope Series (1985-2003) Hock used thermal-imaging technology to reveal the nightly wetbacks that cross the border illegally. The images depict not only the physical vulnerability of illegal immigrants, but also the (visual) aggression of the border patrol trying to arrest them.
THE MEXICAN TAPES: A Chronicle of Life Outside the Law is a four-part film project documenting the lives and experiences of Hock’s undocumented working class, Mexican immigrant neighbours in the Los Analos community in San Diego, California.
Los Desastres Colaterales [The Collateral Catastrophes] // Demián Flores
Los Desastres Colaterales is a visual paraphrase of the monumental work from Francisco de Goya "Los Desastres de la Guerra" ("The Catastrophes of War"). This exhibition shows 12 of the 82 etchings. The metaphoric and reflective images show the effects of violence during the Spanish conquest of Mexico, and the drug war of Calderon. Flores combines Goya’s dramatic gestures with his own references and symbols to respond to the violence that permeates Mexican history.
Demián Flores Cortés (Juchitán, Oaxaca, 1971) is founder of the cultural centre La Curtiduria AC and Taller Gráfica Actual, Oaxaca. He lives and works in Mexico City and Oaxaca.
El Diablo Fue Alguna Vez Ángel // Andrea Carrillo
El Diablo Fue Alguna Vez Ángel is a series of flags that deal with the cultural representation, symbolism, and politics of power associated with drug trafficking and organize crime in Mexico. The aesthetic stems from the language and icons use in “narco-corrido” and other openly cultural expressions, reflecting the aspirational nature of power and its dynamics in narco culture. The project sicks to demonstrate the collusion and gray nature between different government entities, organized crime, and civil society.
Andrea Carrillo is Mexican designer raised in the border town of Tijuana. She coursed a year of the Master program in Design, at the Sandberg Institute (Amsterdam), and she is currently studying a master in Art Design and the Public Domain at Harvard University.