“Artaud 1936” celebrates the poetics of the French playwright Antonin Artaud, his legendary trip to Mexico in 1926, and the influence of his artistic, literary, and life legacy in the American continent. Besides presenting historical and archival material, the exhibition shows pieces from artists that, during the last fifty years, have met Artaud’s work and celebrated his enigmatic experience in Mexico and, particularly in the Tarahumara culture.
Beyond the specifically chronological approach, which might suggest its tittle, “Artaud 1936” follows precisely a contrary impulse: it breaks the historical limits of Artaud’s trip to Mexico to give account of the timelessness of his experience and locate it in a continuity plan with other artist’s work which will later reconsiders it. Ever since Antonin Artaud’s death in 1948, his life and work have been an endless object of review and interpretation. His image, dream, and myth impersonate the man where history offers only fragments. Artaud 1936 is, in that sense, a project radically anachronistic, underpinned on the gaps and paradoxes of Artaud’s existence: documental gap of his trip to the Sierra Tarahumara, of his experience of the rites related to peyote; paradox of the trip to Mexico which in a physical level lasts for nine months, but in a spiritual level, lasts for sixteen years, from the production of La conquête du Mexique in 1932 to the Tutuguri dance Pour en finir avec le jugement de Dieu in 1947. In that way, Artaud’s Mexican dream merges with the visions of artists that he saw and loved, and which, years later, emulated his path.
The exhibition is divided in two phases, each of which presents a complementary selection of artworks and archive items substituting some objects and works with others with which they interact and that suggest a different approach. In that way, the same exhibition holds two different samples with related content. The first phase is named “La Sierra de las Cosas, and the second one, “La Tinta Invisible”.