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RESISTING FOR LIFE

Alberto Híjar Serrano
 
 
If Felipe Ehrenberg (1943-2017) were still here, we would have discussed the gatherong resistance against the State’s so-called “historical truth” about Ayotzinapa, through slogans, texts, and graphic art, constantly moving not only in Mexico and the United States, but in Europe and other far-off places. The rural and popular roots of the Ayotzinapa relatives meet libertarian intelectual lucidity, bringing about a high-impact knowledge all over the world, against the systemic corruption of late capitalism. Continuar Leyendo →

The Community Art of Taller de Investigación Plástica

Guillermina Guadarrama Peña
 
 
The Taller de Investigación Plástica (TIP) was a multidisciplinary artistic collective born in the upheavals of the 1970’s, a time of major social movements. It was the first group to produce community art in Mexico, a kind of public art that emerged when “individualism and art for art’s sake began to be replaced by collaboration, social relevance, process and context” [1]
It was an avant-garde proposal, misunderstood at the time, arguing that the meaning of art should be found at its physical or social site, not in a museum, and it should involve its target audience, in order to turn it into a tool for social change. Continuar Leyendo →

Un mismo amor

Alberto Híjar Serrano
 
 
Without him knowing, or quoting from it, the Cannibal Manifiesto (São Paulo, 1928) gives aesthetic sense to the work of Gerardo Cantú exhibited at Museo Mural Diego Rivera under the title Un mismo amor. Vivencias y videncias. Among the phrases adroitly sprinkled here and there to accompany the works, there is one highlighted in red on the triptych that substitutes the catalogue: “with Cantú we arrive at the awkwardness of love, but love still, and perhaps a love more sincere and higher than that which the romantics exalted in their time”, says Ida Rodríguez. Continuar Leyendo →

Raquel Tibol

Alberto Híjar Serrano
 
 
The introduction to the anthology Raquel Tibol, la crítica y la militancia, published by Centro de Estudios del Movimiento Obrero y Socialista, recounts the life and miracles of the redoubtable critic, from her beginnings as a writer and journalist in her native Argentina. During a Continental Conference on Culture, promoted by Pablo Neruda in Santiago, Chile, in 1952, she met Diego Rivera and decided to accept the task of organizing the Mexican section. Her quick, efficient and clear writing style opened the path for her to join projects aimed at achieving national liberation and socialism.
Continuar Leyendo →

Building an Utopia

Laura González Matute
 
 

This text was read on June 9, 2016, at Aula Magna José Vasconcelos, Centro Nacional de las Artes, during the presentation of the book La construcción de una utopía. Enseñanza artística en la posrevolución (Building an Utopia. Arts Education After the Revolution), Mexico, Conaculta, INBA, Cenidiap, 2015, 168 p.
Continuar Leyendo →

An artistic relationship and a great friendship between a muralist and an adman: Jorge González Camarena and Federico Sánchez Fogarty

María Teresa Favela Fierro
 
 
This is the text of the lecture “Tolteca’s public image in the work of Jorge González Camarena”, which I gave on the occasion of the exhibition Federico Sánchez Fogarty, a visionary of his time at Museo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo, (November 14, 2013, February 23, 2014). You can see the images I mention in the text at the gallery of the Fundación Cultural Jorge González Camarena A. C. website: Galería de la Fundación Cultural Jorge González Camarena. Continuar Leyendo →

Boltanski. Un pueblo de fantasmas

Marie-Christine Camus
 
 
This text was read at a round table, “Incomplete traces. Identity, memory and oblivion”, on May 24, 2016, as a parallel activity to the exhibition Animitas. Christian Boltanski, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey, January 21 – June 5, 2016.
  Continuar Leyendo →

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Vicente Kramsky: a local photographer

Gabriela Torres Freyermuth

 
 
Vicente Kramsky was born in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, in 1929. His family was of German descent. His grandfather, Vicente Kramsky Bittner, arrived in Mexico in 1870 after the Mexican government had extended an invitation to foreigners to come and people the country. He soon decided to try his luck in San Cristóbal, where he met Emilia Ramos Bourdois, whom he married. They founded the La Sultana shoe factory, which became renowned in the whole region. This commercial success provided the family with great prestige and a distinguished social position. A sign of the family’s prosperity was the purchase of the country estate known as “El Tívoli”.[1] Continuar Leyendo →

Work Brings Us Together: Larrauri/Mexiac

On April 20, 2016, at Galería Víctor Manuel Contreras in Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos (UAEM), campus Cuernavaca, the exhibition Work Brings Us Together. One More Time, was opened. It brought together two sets of works from two essential creators in the history of art and culture in Mexico: Moments in the History of Mexico. Illustrations by Iker Larrauri, and Illustration in the work of Adolfo Mexiac.
Continuar Leyendo →

SPECULAR – second series

Fictive Criticism

Alfredo Gurza

Invaluable images from the collections kept by Cenidiap, in dialogue with fabulations and inventions, free-style exercises of the imagination, as mirrors reflecting each other, revealing unexpected affinities and contrasts, interweavings beneath the surface, telling resonances. A proposal to re-circulate this heritage, in order to contribute to generating new audiences and strengthening the Center as a reference point for the national and international community of researchers, documentalists and creators. Continuar Leyendo →

SPECULAR

Fictive Criticism

ALFREDO GURZA

 

In line with Cenidiap’s essential mission to produce and foster research, documentation and information on visual arts in Mexico and the rest of the world, we present this series, where we will be periodically publishing images from the invaluable archives housed in our Center, placing them in conversation with fabulations and inventions, free-form exercises of the imagination, as mirrors in reciprocal reflection, revealing unexpected affinities and contrasts, interweavings beneath the surface, telling resonances. Continuar Leyendo →

THREE BY MALEVICH

Alfredo Gurza
 
 
The dazzling Russian avant-garde exhibition at the Fine Arts Palace in Mexico City (October 22, 2015-February 7, 2016) provides a perfect opportunity to present three articles by Kazimir Malevich, the creator of suprematism, whose influence on the critical practice of the arts is perhaps greater today than it was a century ago, when the depths of his work were only beginning to be sounded. Continuar Leyendo →

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A figuration of outrage

Alfredo Gurza
 
 
In June, 2015, at Café 123, Suad, an artist born in Casablanca, Morocco, residing in Mexico City since 2010, exhibited through the One Month | One Artist initiative her piece entitled Entrelazados, (Entwined), a work that distills her artistic practice, accumulated through successive purifying and deepening processes in her studious journey through Lyon, London and New York. It is also the announcement of her new domain: both as knowledge/craft and as a territory for semiotic research. Continuar Leyendo →

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A Memorial to Violence

Cristina Híjar González
 
 
A year after the forced disappearance of the 43 students of Normal Rural Raúl Isidro Burgos of Ayotzinapa, and the brutal murder of three others, the slogans of the day are:
They took them away alive, we want them back alive! The State did it! Continuar Leyendo →

Approaches to Political Graphic Art as Discourse

In the late 1970’s, Mario Benedetti wrote the poetry collection Letras de emergencia, which included a prologue under the title “Canto libre y arte de emergencia”, [“Free Song and Emergency Art”].(1) In it, he stresses the urgent need to raise one’s voice against unreason, expressly alluding to the song by Daniel Viglietti, who was at that time a political prisoner in Uruguay. I see no objection to extending the poet’s considerations to all artistic expressions raising from the terrible conjunctures of our histories. Benedetti states that someone will not fail to wonder how we can have the time and the willingness to sing, paint or dance; he points out that these expressions produce an aesthetic effect, interpellate in another way, bring us affectively closer, build a community: Continuar Leyendo →

Exhibition Morphologies. Fine Arts Palace Museum: 1934-2014

Ana Garduño
 
 
Curatorial policy at what is today known as the Fine Arts Palace Museum has always been particularly notorious when it comes to the visual arts; this is due in large measure to its status as an official art gallery. Its exhibitions have had greater cultural significance, not only in its natural area of influence, Mexico City, but also in the interior of the country. Historiographically, the success of its montages, especially those that received positive evaluations by both specialists and the general public, have even radiated over cultural capitals with a certain museistic power, above all in Latin America. Continuar Leyendo →

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43 Times Seven Months

Alberto Híjar Serrano
 
 
Certain that the State did it, commemorations rise up a notch, developing autonomies and self-governance. On Saturday the 25th, the Santo Domingo, Los Pedregales, neighborhood welcomed the Ayotzinapa parents, and as it has done every month for the past nine years, a survivor from the Acteal massacre, who is enduring an unending rehab process because of the seven bullets she received. There was delicious pozole and tamales, followed by a testimonial reflection and the report made by the neighborhood organizations. In solidarity, one of the houses now shows on its metal gate the faces of the 43. Twenty-five collective murals testify to this solidarity; some of them include portraits of the victims, their names, and their mothers bearing these testimonials. One of the murals reproduces an engraving by Arturo García Bustos, dating from over fifty years ago, with an armed Zapata pointing directly at the spectator and a sign that reads: “And what have you done to defend the conquests for which we gave our lives?” Continuar Leyendo →

Galeano

Alberto Híjar Serrano
 
 
Open Veins of Latin America rightly replaced those linear-history manuals, centered on Nation-State building and with only veiled references to colonial and imperial outrages. Official texts never mention guerrillas and bandits: they are the dirty war, a side chapter beyond presidents and laws. Continuar Leyendo →

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We shall become Dogs

Yuri Herrera
 
 
A text on La Pasión según Arte Huerco, an exhibition initially shown in Pachuca, Hidalgo, by Fundación Arturo Herrera Cabañas, in April, 2014. It was later exhibited between April and May, 2015, at the Copilco subway station, in Mexico City.  Continuar Leyendo →

Inventing the Future. Political Construction and Cultural Action. Acts of the V Symposium on Research and Documentation

Guadalupe Tolosa
 
 
The future can be invented, but maybe it emerges on the strength of a present in which the multiplicity of events –increasingly dominated by violence, which is present in virtually all aspects of life- turn the wager on aesthetic expressions into an opportunity to enrich the diverse and vast field in which we work, where the political, the ideological and the social are upturned. Continuar Leyendo →

Approaches to Patricia Henríquez

Alfredo Gurza
 
 
The incursion of Patricia Henríquez (Mexico City, 1967) in recent years in animation and video art is the logical consequence of her efforts to extend her semiotic domain. One is amazed by the terseness of her transit into this new medium, the naturalness with which she occupies it, as if these were her more propitious surroundings. Continuar Leyendo →

Pola Weiss and The Crystal Door

Alberto Roblest
 
 
My first encounter with Pola was as haphazard as my stay at UNAM’s Facultad de Ciencias Políticas y Sociales. Both chance events left their imprint on me forever. It was 1983, I was doing the fourth semester. It was near the end of term. Continuar Leyendo →

José Luis Brea’s “Looking ahead”

Loreto Alonso Atienza
 
 
On January 15-17, the “Three Eras of the Image” conference took place at Biblioteca Vasconcelos, in Mexico City. Organized by Centro de la Imagen and 17 Instituto de Estudios Críticos, it gathered major figures in the field of visual studies, such as Keith Moxey, William J. T Mitchell and Mieke Bal. The title of the conference was taken from the last book of the late Spanish thinker José Luis Brea. Continuar Leyendo →

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Current Art Documentary Collection

Edwina Moreno Guerra
 
 
1990-2000
 
The Current Art Documentary Collection began with the rescue of so-called “Arte Joven” (“Young Art”), originating in the late 1950’s. From then on, the cultivation of new languages always refers to new art, the one that broke off with tradition and was acknowledged as avant-garde. Continuar Leyendo →

The José María Velasco Gallery. A Public Space for Cultural Promotion in Tepito

Carlos Guevara Meza
 
 
This text was read at the presentation of the book La Galería José María Velasco. Espacio público de promoción cultural en Tepito, by Guillermina Guadarrama, México, Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, Galería José María Velasco, 2013. Galería Velasco. Continuar Leyendo →

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Vianney Cortés. Language as the Detonator of Form

 

The work of Vianney Cortés (Mexico City, 1985), who graduated from Escuela Nacional de Pintura, Escultura y Grabado La Esmeralda, fluctuates between sculpture and installation. Light and movement play a key role in her pieces, generating atmospheric and enveloping effects. Continuar Leyendo →

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Malraux Encounter on Art and Education

Loreto Alonso Atienza

 

The Malraux Encounter on Art and Education took place on May 6-8, 2014. It was coordinated by Patrick Talbot, honorary director of Art Postgraduate Schools of Bourges and Nancy, and of the National Higher School of Photography of France; and by Humberto Chávez Mayol, researcher at Cenidiap (National Center for Research, Documentation and Information on Visual Arts). Continuar Leyendo →

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On History and Relevancy: Luis Arenal

María Elisa Morales Maya

 

The exhibition Luis Arenal Bastar: un realismo militante (A Militant Realism) signifies in many senses, not just because of its unpublished status, given its documentary character, but because of the diversity of processes that the materialization of an exhibition such as this may imply. Continuar Leyendo →

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Francisco Goitia Collection

María Jeannette Méndez Ramón

 

Since 1987, the Francisco Goitia Collection became part of the artistic documentary heritage of the National Center for Research, Documentation and Information on Visual Arts (Cenidiap). It was donated by anthropologist Farías Galindo, the last executor and biographer of the artist. Continuar Leyendo →

Economics and Culture

Carlos Guevara Meza

 

Perhaps I should begin by pointing out the relevance of presenting a book entitled Economics and Culture at an arts research center. When “traditional” cultural producers, such as artists, intellectuals and academics, hear those two words together, we start shaking, thinking (not without reason) that the idea is to throw us into a market previously constructed by other agents, after their own fashion, in which they already exercise a dominion, and who don’t think twice about “liquidating” (in the Mafia sense of the word) any real or potential competition.

Continuar Leyendo →

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Decentralizing Historical Photographic Collections

Eleazar López Zamora

 

[Originally published in Alberto Tovalín (ed.), Crónicas Fotográficas. I Foro México Estados Unidos,México, Instituto Veracruzano de Cultura, Universidad Veracruzana, Fondo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, 1996.] Continuar Leyendo →

Forced Disappearances

Alberto Híjar Serrano

 

On the first Saturday of every month, at different public places, HIJOS México and ¡Eureka! Install an exhibition of the disappeared, the victims of political repression. On Saturday, February 1st, they installed photographs of the disappeared around a fountain in Parque de los Venados, where they informed the festive and sportive citizens gathered there of the purpose of their organization. Continuar Leyendo →

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The Cosmos Descends on Sculpture: Kiyoshi Takahashi, Sukemitzu Kaminaga, Kiyoto Ota and Hiroyuki Okumura

María Teresa Favela Fierro

 

Several Japanese artists have arrived in Mexico at different times; some settled definitely, others temporarily. They all have brought with them a valuable artistic legacy. Tamiji Kitagawa, for instance, lived here in the 1920´s and 30´s, and taught at the Open Air Painting Schools. Continuar Leyendo →

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Connections… Cenidiap’s Archives and Collections

 

On August 19-31, 2014, the Gallery of the National School of Painting, Sculpture and Engraving “La Esmeralda” hosted the exhibition Connections… Cenidiap’s Archives and Collections. Continuar Leyendo →

César Moro: Poetry between the Old and New Worlds

Lourdes Andrade

 

César Moro, a poet of astonishing fertility in terms of the quantity and the quality of his images, is a figure between two worlds, drawn and torn by the absolute demands of poetry and the circumstances in which he developed his work and his life, and in which he gave sense to both. Continuar Leyendo →

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Barbizon or Santa Anita. The first Open Air Painting School, 1913

Laura González Matute

 

[Originally published in Escuelas de Pintura al Aire Libre y Centros Populares de Pintura, Mexico, Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, Centro Nacional de Investigación, Documentación e Información de Artes Plásticas, 1987.] Continuar Leyendo →

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Leopoldo Méndez Documentary Collection

Jacqueline Romero Yescas

 

The Leopoldo Méndez Documentary Collection is a valuable documentary archive for research into the visual arts in 20th century Mexico. Its information covers several issues regarding the life and thought, as well as the development of the work of this engraver. This collection is part of the cultural, historical and artistic heritage safeguarded by the National Institute of Fine Arts and Literature (INBAL). Continuar Leyendo →