REviewers - Winter Residency 2018
In his work, Eduardo Abaroa examines aspects of impermanence, history, and the socio-political fabric of North American society. Frequently he reimagines iconic works and powerful cultural symbols, through which he seeks to dismantle the notions of monumentality and modernity. Found in the intersection of sculpture, installation, and performance, his practice has an immediacy that playfully evades the preciousness often associated with art objects. Even in his more monumental sculptural works, he avoids traditional “fine art” connotations, creating pieces using port-a-potties, tarps, and the rubble of demolished buildings. Inexpensive everyday materials such as cotton swabs, straws and plastic bottles, are frequently found in his pieces. Abaroa’s site-specific projects seek to undermine the authority of cultural institutions, such as the National Anthropology Museum in Mexico City, along with its impulse to install an official narrative and its ultra-nationalistic ideology. By juxtaposing various ideological, aesthetic, and cultural traditions, the artist offers an incisive point of view, deeply critical of the economic and social structures that govern our society.
Abaroa earned his Bachelor of Fine Art from the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas (UNAM) in 1992 and his Masters of Fine Art from The California Institute of the Arts in 2001. He has participated in residencies at La Flora in Bogota (2014), and the Corcoran Gallery in Washington D.C. (2012). In 2011 he directed the IX International Symposium on Contemporary Art Theory, held in Mexico City (SITAC). He has contributed texts for catalogs for many artists vital to the Mexican context, as well as columns and reviews for several journals and publications. He has been the recipient of many grants and awards, including: the Sculpture prize, Sociedad de Valores de Arte Mexicano (SIVAM) in 2006 and 2005, the National Fund for Culture and Arts (FONCA in Spanish) in 2004, and the Fulbright Scholarship, also in 2004.
His most important solo exhibitions include: Stonhenge Sanitario, Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros, Mexico City, Mexico (2006); Eduardo Abaroa, Engendros del ocio y la hipocresía, Instituto Cultural Cabañas, Guadalajara, Mexico (2003); Eduardo Abaroa, Engendros del ocio y la hipocresía (1991-1999), Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, Mexico City, Mexico (1999); Bitácora Artística, Curare Espacio Crítico para las Artes, Mexico City, Mexico (1997).
He has participated in group exhibitions at many institutions, including: Museo de Arte Zapopan, Zapopan, Mexico (2014); Museo Tamayo, Mexico City, Mexico (2013); The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, United States (2013); Museo Universitario de Arte Contempoáneo MUAC, Mexico City, Mexico (2011); Museum of Latin American Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, United States (2011); Museum of Contemporary Art MOCA, Los Angeles, United States (2007); Museo Nacional Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain (2005), The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, United States (2004). He has also participated in the 6th Bussan Biennial, Korea (2008) and the 25th Biennial de Sao Paulo, Brazil (2002).
Sofía Táboas investigates both natural and man-made space; how it is built and transformed, thought about and perceived. This interest is evident in the materials she uses in her sculptures and installations: artificial and live plants, mosaics, pool equipment, construction materials, plastic, light bulbs, and fire, among others. Her work creates a threshold, a boundary between elements that may be incongruent or seemingly irreconcilable, that serves to reinvent the borders of the public and the private, the inside and the outside. Táboas deftly manipulates space to create interactive structures and contexts where materials can be interpreted on new terms. Despite its seeming formal sobriety, her work is capable of creating habitats, such as floating gardens or underwater scenes, exploring new protozoan life, and give rise to new movement and perception exercises. Influenced by the Arte Povera and Neo-concrete movements, Táboas’ practice can be thought of as an archeology of the future, in which the use of common materials serves to breach the gap separating us from what is outside, of a distant tomorrow, surrounding the spectator with the familiar, in the here and now.
Sofía Táboas received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from UNAM, Mexico City (1986-1990). During the 90s, she was a founding member of the alternative space Temístocles 44in Mexico City.
Her most important exhibitions include: Piedra principio, Fundación RAC, Pontevedra, Spain (2014); Revisiones Superficies Límites, Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, Mexico City, Mexico (2011); Cinco jardines flotantes para cinco piedras, Casa de Lago Juan José Arreola, Mexico City, Mexico (2009); Azul Pacífico, Casa Barragán, Mexico City, Mexico (2008); Silvestre, Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros, Mexico City, Mexico (2002). Additionally, she has participated in group exhibitions at the following institutions: FRAC Bourgogne in Dijon, France (2014); Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City (2013); Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) Long Beach, California, United States (2012); MUCA-UNAM (Museo Universitario de Ciencias y Arte), Mexico City, (2008); The Moore Building, Miami, United States (2002).
Joaquin Segura’s highly diverse oeuvre meditates on violence, political change and the role of ideologies in our current sociopolitical climate. His recent production is visibly concerned about the nature of power and political apparatuses, constructing a practice deeply fascinated by the fissures and contradictions in social superstructures and the crucial role these have played in the globalization of political crisis, mainly explored through constant references to specific historical events. Through his unpredictable works, Segura aims to reach an art of destabilization, elaborating a poetic of sabotage, which relates to impotence, denial & deception.
His action, installation, intervention and photographic work has been extensively shown in solo & group exhibitions in Mexico, USA, Europe & Asia, in venues such as Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros, Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, La Panaderia and Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo in Mexico City, along with El Museo del Barrio, Anthology Film Archives, White Box and apexart (New York, NY), LAXART, MoLAA (Los Angeles, CA), Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia (Madrid, Spain), National Center for Contemporary Art (Moscow, Russia) and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, TX.
His work has been widely reviewed and featured on major art publications & newspapers such as Flash Art, Adbusters, Art Papers, Codigo, Art Nexus, Artillery, Discipline, Celeste, Reforma & The Washington Post. In 2008/09, Segura was an artist-in-residence at the International Studio & Curatorial Program, New York, NY and at the 18th Street Arts Center, Santa Monica, CA. In 2012/13, he undertook artist residencies and research stays at Hangar - Centre de producció i recerca d'arts visuals (Barcelona, Spain), MeetFactory - International Center of Contemporary Art (Prague, Czech Republic) and Impakt Foundation (Utrecht, The Netherlands).
Segura is also a founding member & board advisor of SOMA, Mexico City.
Virginia Colwell’s work examines the space between official and unofficial histories and the poetic ambiguities of truth and fiction in historical narratives. Often she begins her artworks with stories found in her deceased father’s FBI archive, which contains materials that he collected during his career as an agent. Her drawings, sculptures, and videos reinvestigate various cases in the archive through site visits, interviews, archival research, and declassified documents.
Colwell has lived and worked in Mexico City since 2011. Her artistic research focuses on the American South, the Caribbean, and Mexico. She has been an artist in residence with Beta-Local’s La Prática program in Puerto Rico, Untitled art fair’s Fountainhead Residency program in Miami, and the multimedia art center Hangar in Barcelona, Spain. Her works have been exhibited at the Center for Contemporary Art in Lithuania, the Hirschorn Museum in the United States, El Centro de Arte Santa Monica in Barcelona and most recently, at the Centro Cultural Félix Varela during the 12th Havana Biennial. Colwell has received numerous awards including the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Award, a Pollock Krasner Foundation Fellowship, and a Jumex Foundation Grant. She is currently a faculty member of the SOMA graduate program in Mexico City.