231109: MUMOK Museum of modern Art: Interstices – La Coleccion Jumex, Mexico

MUMOK Museum of modern Art: Interstices – La Coleccion Jumex, Mexico Platitudes and Interstices Exhibitions of large contemporary art collections are always also part of a visual construction of meaning. They mediate values and thereby encroach in contentions over social hegemony. In 1990, the Argentine-Mexican culture critic Néstor Garcia Canclini represented this thesis in his book “Culturas Hibridas” (hybrid cultures). In this investigation of the specifics of cultural Modernism in Mexico, Garcia Canclini devotes himself to the effective as well as failed attempts of artists to escape from Modernism, its colonial heritage and its increasing capitalisation. The catalogue of this exhibition, in which works of the collection of the Mexican fruit juice-producer JUMEX are presented at the Vienna MUMOK, you will find an interview with the important theoretician, who is hardly known in the German-speaking world. Cultural interstices are not only interpreted as places of communication, but also as those of potential resistance. Where there is an in-between the dichotomous poles must indeed be relatively intact. But the exhibition seems to deal more with the softening of contrasts and the merging of the core with the periphery, of up and down, and as it says in the exhibition text “the fading of left and right ideologies”. That the latter is an ideology in itself, by which art orchestrated the marching-through of neoliberalism, is presented by Francis Alys’s metaphor: in his video installation, a Mexican band is playing patriotic songs, while “musical chairs” is shown on another screen. Some don’t make it. Good seats need good starting points as well as quick reactions. Marcela Astorga’s sculpture “Masochist Grill”, on a pedestal made of braided leather military belts, reminds of the violent and far-reaching economic and social model of the military dictatorship of the 1970’s and 80’s. While the individual works of the, not only Latin American, artists are absolutely convincing, the attributions to the rather generalized categories such as “identity and society” or “politics and economy” are far too constrained. The JUMEX-collection is more of a conglomeration of diverse commentaries on today’s massive problems concerning migration and globalization. In any case, the commitment to hegemonic battles in the spirit of Garcia Canclini is not very adventurous or daring. By Jens Kastner MUMOK Museum moderner Kunst 1070 Vienna, MuseumsQuartier, until 07.03.10 http://www.mumok.at

mumok - Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien
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