Museo Universitario del Chopo presents Pirated Modernity, a collective exhibition that starts out from the research and analysis of different musical cultures—punk, rock, salsa, cumbia—on the basis of practices that may be linked to what the anthropologist Ravi Sundaram has called pirate modernity.
The artist Jota Izquierdo, who undertook the research for the exhibition and proposed the artists, emphasizes that the intention of the show is to take the concept of piracy beyond notions of disapproval and criminality, in order to understand how popular cultures, with their images and musicians, have used their own strategies to incorporate themselves into modernity.
The works included address subjects such as the sonidero movement in Mexico City; the musical connections between Colombia and Monterrey; the diverse cultural expressions represented in the collection of Fanzines held by the MuseoUniversitario del Chopo; the punk scene in Guadalajara and Mexico City; musical appropriation; Mexican black metal groups; independent record labels; hardcore and rock, among others.
This is an exploration of cultural processes related to the work of Ravi Sundaram, who suggests that what is (re)produced is not just a copy; instead, he proposes, the processes of copying in post-colonial countries should be understood as a way for the underprivileged classes to incorporate themselves into the production, distribution and consumption of global goods and services. These new practices introduce elements of originality and creativity that produce new meanings and distort aspects of capitalist culture.
Uncontrolled proliferation is characteristic of contemporary urban life: home workshops, street markets, black marketeers and street vendors are spaces and agents that define “bottom-up globalization,” a term coined by Brazilian theorist Gustavo Lins Riveiro.
Their fragile forms of production, distribution and consumption give rise to cultural modes that introduce mismatches, breakups, recycling, breakdowns, saturation and excess as distinctive features of their identity. While modernity proposes originality and novelty in the vertical distribution of its cultural products, pirated modernity imposes the culture of the copy as a form of producing, distributing and consuming products.
The exhibition includes visual work, videos, photography, and installation together with different elements from archives and collections by Mirjiam Wirz (Switzerland); Jorge Silva (Colombia); Dario Blanco (Colombia); Jota Izquierdo (Spain); and by the Mexicans Diego Ibañez; Yasodari Sánchez in collaboration with Ángela Chapa; Vicente Razo; Audimix; Daniel Guzmán; Israel Martínez; Laureana Toledo; Sarah Minter; Pablo Gaytán; Juan Pablo Macías; Enrique Arriaga; Karina Morales; Cristian Franco; Vicente Razo; Carlos Somonte; Luis Figueroa; and El ProyectoSonidero.
Jota Izquierdo (Castellón, Spain, 1972). Lives and works in Mexico City. Studied at the San Carlos Faculty of Fine Arts in Valencia, Spain. Since 2009 he has worked on the project Yellow Capitalism, which researches the functioning of the informal economy.
His solo exhibitions include: Caiwen Kelai, at the Galería Proyecto Paralelo (Mexico City, 2013); Región 4, at Cable Factory Gallery (Helsinki, Finland, 2011); Catálogo H.E.L.L.O., at La Gallera (Valencia, Spain, 2009); Catálogo DESCONOCIDO Nº1., at Espacio Contemporáneo Archivo Toledo (Spain, 2009); Hombres como vacas (Valencia, 2007); The Living End, at Laboratorio Arte Alameda (Mexico City, 2004).
He has also shown work at the group exhibitions: Punk, susrastros en el arte contemporáneo, MACBA, (Barcelona, Spain, 2016); Contemporary Mexican Art, at Oxo Tower Wharf (London, 2014); Mapasmóviles, at La Tallera (Cuernavaca, Mexico, 2014); Simultáneo 07, at Espacio AB9 (Murcia, Spain, 2014); CACAO, at the MuseoUniversitario del Chopo (Mexico City, 2013); Biennal Curve, at Ok Centrum (Linz, Austria, 2013); Vernetzt, at Power Tower Energie (Linz, Austria, 2012); Manifesta Biennial of Contemporary Art catalogue(Genk, Belgium, 2012); Bristol Biennial. Lemexraum Project (Bristol, UK, 2012); Mad Lab (Manchester, UK, 2011).
His public art projects include VÉNDEMELA!!!., at Casa Vecina (Mexico City, 2009); Última (Torrent, Valencia, 2007); and contemporane@, at EACCEspaiD´Art Cotemporani (Castellón, 2005).
He has received the following grants and scholarships: Grant for creative work, (Fundación Arte y Derecho, Madrid, 2009); Visual arts grant (Fundación Marcelino Botín, Spain, 2010); and Grant for the promotion of Spanish art and support for new trends in the arts (Ministerio de Cultura, Spain, 2008), among others. A number of his works are found in the collection of the Museo Arte Contemporáneo (MUAC, UNAM) and of the Fundación Botín, Banco Santander.
- Alejandro Corona (Angus). Courtesy of the artist and Museo Universitario del Chopo
- Sarah Minter. Nadie es inocente. 20 años después, 2010. Courtesy of the artist and Museo Universitario del Chopo
- El Proyecto Sonidero. Courtesy of the artists and Museo Universitario del Chopo