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Interview - La cruda realidad: Duelo de Francisco Toledo y los 43 desaparecidos de Ayotzinapa
Revista192 March 2017
El aclamado artista y activista mexicano Francisco Toledo no cree que la humanidad tenga esperanza. De hecho, a pesar de que lleva décadas de crear conciencia y levantar proyectos dentro y fuera de su estudio, se declara pesimista. Por supuesto, el activismo contiene los requisitos intrínsecos de promover y luchar por el cambio, mejorar y corregir las injusticias sociales y medioambientales; implica la posibilidad de transformar y evolucionar como humanos.
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Interview - The Raw Truth: Francisco Toledo's Duelo and the 43 disappeared of Ayotzinapa
Revista192 March 2017
Famed Mexican artist and activist Francesco Toledo has no hope. In fact, despite decades of awareness raising projects both inside and outside of the studio, he is a self-avowed pessimist and told me in a recent interview that there is no hope for mankind. Activism, of course, contains the prerequisites of promoting and fighting for change, improvement and correcting social and environmental injustices; it implies the possibility of transformation and for human evolution. Toledo believes none of this.
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A Gift of Return: Graham Gillmore's Great Expectations.
If all art is autobiography, the work of Graham Gillmore is certainly a testament to that. In a recent interview after the opening of his latest exhibition Great Expectations at Toronto's Division Gallery, he told me: "my work exceedingly relies on autobiography. It borders on the confessional." In contrast to the drama of doom in Lov Sic (2013), however, there is light- heartedness to the work of Great Expectations. Indeed, there is hope.
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Ray Smith: Mirrors Mirrors on the Wall.
At Mexico City's Zona Maco 2017, ge galeria of Monterrey and New York featured the work of Mexican/ American artist Ray Smith. The gallery's spacious booth was curated as a cross-section of the artist's psyche: pop art 80's containing sentimental shards of broken mirrors from the artist's past studio, sumptuous water colour works on hand- made paper flavored with cubism, two whimsical nudes, stacks of voluptuous concrete sacks, a romantic girl child from yore with more concrete sacks for a base doused in gory, albeit oh so cheerful, oil paint, and some roughed-up studio chairs, including a once elegant arm chair that has been simultaneously decorated and destroyed by further dousings of Technicolor paint.
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The Excess of Lack: Mauricio Toro Goya's Milagreros.
In Mexico, the baroque is the everyday. Even in the most humble Mexico City Colonia, ornate marble carvings arch over doorways and wrought iron grates are tangled with impeccable tendrils. Merchants display their wares en masse, creating a tautology of surplus that corresponds with the obsessive repetition of lavish swirls surrounding a Seventeenth Century plate glass window. It would be impossible to fit any more shoes into a Mexico City shop display and pastelerias proffer five-inch diameter donuts slathered in a thick layer of chocolate icing that, from an outsider's perspective, is nothing but overwhelming. In Mexico, minimalism is definitely a foreign species.
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The Dangers of Ophelia: Adad Hannah’s Blackwater
A dead woman laying in nature. An almost dead beautiful woman floating in an idyllic brook surrounded by flowers. A young woman in an exquisite gown languishing in her madness near death ‘incapable of her own distress’ [1] about to drown in an exquisite pastoral scene with eyes gazing upwards as she flutters romantically on the threshold of her final dissolution. Sound familiar? Yes, it’s Hamlet’s Ophelia and, not to mention, one of the most celebrated idealizations of the dying woman in Western Culture. Isn’t she pretty?
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Excavations - A Feminist Resistance Artist Dialogues with Graham Gilmore's "Love Sic"
Border Crossings December 2014
Painter and sculptor Graham Gillmore has been known foremploying text in his paintings for decades. Like the appropriation of images and objects from popular culture in his figurative work, Gillmore's use of language is also an appropriation of the real. By recontextualizing well-worn phrases into the work he not only destabilizes the seemingly insignificant and unquestioned, but also ironically elevates the language of popular culture as logos, the word: the ultimate wisdom, order, knowledge discourse, indeed, reality itself. Any absolute is unceasingly in need of deconstruction. Gillmore's text-centric pieces like Boo Fucking Hoo, 2009-2010, and Look at Me When I'm Speaking to You, 2011, and the most recent Girly Boyish, 2014, feature phrases that colour our cultural psyche and animate our constant navigations of gendered relationships and realities. Within the dynamics of a playful twist, these phrases inform the psychology of a culture, and as such contribute to notions of truth.
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Is this a Woman? The Ideal Female in Milo Moire’s The Script System
What is a ‘real’ woman? It’s hard to say these days—but certainly not that, or that or … what about this? A male friend recently turned me onto a performance art piece called The Script System by Swiss artist Milo Moire. [1] The concept has subversive potential: a woman strides naked along a train platform, gets on and off of the train, and performs typical, everyday activities. The setting is glaringly ordinary. She has the names of elided garments printed boldly where each piece of clothing would have been. She wears stilettos; her body is adorned in feminine perfection complete with well-endowed breasts pointing dead ahead and a vulva waxed into the fetishization of a pre-pubescent girl. And yet, despite her statuesque form chiseled into the idealized prerequisites of the female body in the 21st Century, is this, really, a woman?
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© 2017 Karen Moe