G.T. Pellizzi: I Transport, 04 Feb 2016 — 15 May 2016

G.T. Pellizzi: I Transport

For his first individual exhibition in Mexico, G.T. Pellizzi has proposed to transform the main gallery at Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros into a monumental art shipping crate, using the aesthetics of art packaging as his model. I Transport measures 9.5 x 8 x 3.5 m, with the peculiar feature that it is subdivided into 171 separate and unique pieces. I Transport (translated from the greek “metaphero”), alludes to the ontological construction of knowledge, history, memory and aesthetics. The piece strives to sublimate the creative act into one of the most commonplace processes by which the globalization of art occurs: the transportation of artwork, artists, discourse and cultural experience.

This enormous container strictly complies with all technical requirements for international shipments, including the fumigation processes for all wood boards and plywood, as well as having the whole interior covered in ethafoam padding. Each of the pieces comprising the installation have been conceptualized within the framework of the western artistic canon, resulting in sculptural and graphic objects arranged specifically for the context of the exhibition space itself, including its architecture.

Following the paradigms of institutional critique, Pellizzi has detected a relevant moment to insert himself into the public economies of Mexican museum culture, actively engaging the interstices of museum operations, their curatorial construction and the strategic locus they occupy in society. In the form of a giant shipping crate, I Transport hyperbolizes the contents of the museum itself; in this case, the work stands as a foil in contrast with the monumental nature of the murals of David Alfaro Siqueiros that are housed in the Sala de Arte Público. After clearly stating his position from a macro-historical perspective, the artist turns his focus toward the everyday practices that define his strategies. The artist adopts a patently pragmatic approach, imbuing each of the 171 elements that compose this instalation with a monetary value that will enable the museum to rebuild its deteriorated budget. Through the process of making a donation of his work to the museum, Pellizzi has kickstarted a fundraising campaign and effectively restuctured the museum´s economic system.

The value of each art piece corresponds to the total sum of the value of all materials used to construct the monumental shipping crate (wood, plywood, ethafoam), the monetary wages paid to all professional workers involved in the fabrication process (carpenters, electricians, museographers, curators and designers), plus the costs of insurance, storage, maintenance, museum management, transport, local transportation, institutional services, public relations and events (opening reception, galas, and other official fundraising gatherings). After assessing the value of the artwork, an exchange will be transacted with the participation of art collectors and philanthropists, who will in turn become part and parcel of the work and the art museum’s new economy. Curated by Taiyana Pimentel.

Concurrent with this exhibition, this occasion also marks the Proyecto Fachada opening of Mexican artist Daniel Aguilar Ruvalcaba’s intervention, Problemas del Realismo Neoliberal en la pintura mexicana/Problems of Neoliberal Realism in Mexican Painting. In this work the artist reflects on the logic and politics that govern the ways works of art are consumed, defined, valued and circulated in capitalist societies. A 100 peso banknote will be installed on the museum’s façade. Aguilar Ruvalcaba uses the commemorative edition note printed on the Bicentennial of Mexico’s Independence and the Centennial of the Mexican Revolution, which reproduces one of the proletarian murals painted by David Alfaro Siqueiros. The 100 peso bill on display is an exact-scale representation of the original paper tender. This exhibition was curated by Mariana Mañón.

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