Fissures in the Tropics: Artistic Practices of the 90s in the West

The Office of Cultural Projects (OPC) has the honor to present the following exhibition of contemporary art Fissures in the Tropics: Artistic Practices of the 90s in the West, curated by Rubén Méndez. Fissures in the Tropics aims to show the production model that was carried out by a group of artists in the 90s in the west of the country and the cultural initiatives that allowed its development. The exhibition intends to not only give an account of this production, but also map the events, places, and people that were the primary actors in the cultural development in that moment in time.

The group of selected artists include: Davis Birks, Eduardo Cervantes, Jose Dávila, Mónica Escutia, Gil Garea, Omar Guerra, Gonzalo Lebrija, Jorge Méndez Blake, Diego Medina, Lourdes Méndez, Rubén Méndez, Daniel Navarro, Paul Nevin, Fernando Palomar, Alejandro Ramirez, Ernesto Ramirez Ramirez, Claudia Rodríguez, Guillermo Santamarina, Agustín Solorzano, Luis Miguel Suro, Francisco Ugarte.

Through the exhibition and round tables discussions, OPC will offer to the general public who are interested in contemporary art, information that extends their understanding of what happened in a key decade for the development of art in our country. The research elements are framed in the western region of Mexico; a geographical space that has been the origin of events of great scope, but that have received very little dissemination and research.

Rather, it is an exhibition that is a testament to the milieu that shaped the spirit of an era in a specific area of ​​the country through its artistic practices. The paradigm shift, the theoretical reflection, the economic, social and political crisis, the change of millennium, were factors, among others, that compressed and expanded the fissure. This exhibition is also a reexamination of projects that allowed for change to happen: Expo-Arte, the first contemporary art fair in the country; the International Forum of Contemporary Art (FITAC); the independent projects NAP and El Callo; the workshops of artistic production like Cerámica Suro and Taller Mexicano Gobelinos (TMG); the curators who gave order and structure with their proposals; and the collectors who encouraged an incipient market. Thus, a series of actions, projects, and places that were active part of that moment will be represented within the exhibition.

The criterion for the selection of artists was based on their active participation  during that era. The artworks do not necessarily correspond in temporality, since the selection is subject to matters of space and representation, and other indirect factors,  such as production.

Parallel activities, such as talks and round table discussions will be held with the curator and artists during the run of the exhibition. A reading table table with a curated selection of books and documents will also be available for the public to consult and extend their perspective on the subject.

RUBÉN MÉNDEZ (Guadalajara, 1960) Lives and works in Guadalajara.

He is an artist, curator, and museographer. From 1988 to the present he has developed several curatorial projects and has developed museum designs in diverse spaces such as MARCO Museum of Monterrey, Museum of Modern Art and Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City; Instituto Cultural Cabañas, Casa Taller José Clemente Orozco, Casa Clavijero ITESO, Guadalajara Art Center and The Contemporary Art Plant, in Guadalajara. In 1994-95 he worked for FARCO and the International Forum of Contemporary Art. He is a founding member of the firm CUMULO (Curatorship, Museography and Logistics) next to Carlos Ashida; of the collective CACA (Collective of Action and Artistic Creation), LIPO (the Irreversible Ordinary Production), and independent projects Clemente Jacqs Laboratory and Colegio Aires de Occidente – in collaboration with Mariana Munguía, Cristina Sesscose, and Eduardo Sarabia, among others -. He was director of curatorship at the Museum of Arts and Programming Director of the Urban Electric Train Gallery. He is currently a member of the planning committee of PECDA, S.C. of Jalisco and Director of Museography and Curatorship of the Cabañas Cultural Institute.

Fissures in the tropics was made possible through the generous support of William Hobi. We thank our sponsors: the Barlow Family, PAC (Patronage of Contemporary Art); Secretary of Culture, Jalisco; Vallartense Institute of Culture; Mero Mero Mezcal; Cerveza El Terrible Beer; El Patio de Mi Casa, and Hotel Villa Mercedes.

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