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Four shelves, two lamps, a fabric swatch, a fragment of scratched film, some meaningful found objects and some salt from everyone.

An exhibition by Mario García Torres

Curated by María Inés Rodríguez

July - November 2013

An enumeration of objects


Enumeration enables remembering. Remembering leads to the elaboration of a susceptible story to be told. The complex exercise of memory confronts the individual with the collective version of history; what has been lived versus the established version. The action of remembering is linked to the events, and the imprints that marked us, of which we were witnesses or protagonists.


Just like Walter Benjamin pointed out, a clear distinction exists between transmitted experience and lived experience, the first assures the continuity of the story from one generation to the next, and the second allows space for the individual’s word, with its fragilities and its subjectivity. The complex gap between these two versions of history reverberates in the political field, a new scripture of history becomes necessary to accomplish a reconfiguration of society.


The title of Mario García Torres’ exhibition, Four shelves, two lamps, a fabric swatch, a fragment of scratched film, some meaningful found objects and some salt from everyone, 2013, announces in an austere and direct manner, the elements that comprise the installation. Each object is named in the same way, without much of a hierarchy other than to determine the amount of each. Some of the objects (Untitled, 2013) are ceramic recipients for which Garcia Torres proposes a gesture, simple in its enunciation but complex in the moment that it is realized: to gather some salt from each of the museum’s neighbors and to gather it within the exhibition space. This action invites us to remember that a social fabric, a past, neighbors, once existed. A conviviality that can still be rescued and imagined, made visible through the number of ceramic pieces and mound of salt.


On the other hand, a similar but personal gesture appears in a fragment of film that the artist carried around in his pocket during the preparation of the exhibition (July, 2013). This silent and private activity becomes visible through the passing of light.


The exhibition evokes an enumerated, collective memory that convenes in the surroundings of the museum and reclaims it as its own. 

-María Inés Rodríguez

Mario García Torres (Mexico, 1975) received an MA from the Universidad de Monterrey, and an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts. Some of his recent shows are A Telltale of a Sunday Practice, Taka Ishii, Tokyo, Japan (solo); September Piece at Galerie Jan Mot, Brussels (solo); and the group show Des Mondes Possibles at FRAC - Franche-Comté, Besançon (Until Aug. 28). In 2012, he participated in various group exhibitions which include When Attitudes Became Form Become Attitudes at the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco and dOCUMENTA 13. In 2013 he will participate at the 9th Mercosur Biennial, Porto Alegre, Brazil, from Sept. 13 through November 13. 


García Torres has also exhibited in the Biennale di Venezia, the 8th Panama Biennial, the Yokohama Triennale and institutions like the Kunsthalle Zurich the Barbican (London); the Museum of Modern Art Syros (Syros); Kadist Art Foundation (Paris); Tate Modern (London); Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (Vienna); the Kunstverein fur die Rheinlande und Westfalen, (Dusseldorf); the Frankfut Kunstverei; and the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. He works and lives in Mexico City.

María Inés Rodríguez is an independent curator and Director at Tropical Papers. She is also the Adjunct Curator at the Modern and Contemporary Art at Museu de Arte de São Paulo, MASP. Between 2014 to 2018, she was the Director at CAPC Musée d’art Contemporain of Bordeaux. In addition, she worked on exhibitions projects dedicated to emergent artists and curators, in co-production with Jeu de Paume, Paris, and Museo Amparo, Puebla. 


Up until 2013, she worked as chief curator at the Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporaneo (MUAC) in Mexico City. From 2009 to 2011, she was chief curator at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y Léon (MUSAC) in Spain, where she managed the Art and Architecture Collection AA MUSAC, created in 2010, where she has published the monographs Modernidad Tropical, Alexander Apóstol y Yona Friedman. 


Until 2012, she was co-editor of the RADAR magazine, art and thought MUSAC. Between 2008-2009, she was guest curator for Satellite’s programming at Jeu de Paume de París and editor of the french art publication Point d’ironie.


As independent curator and art critic, Rodríguez has worked and promoted projects focused on appropriation strategies of public space in different contemporary art environments, in relation to art, design, architecture and urbanism. With an interest in printed matter, she has organized conferences and exhibitions on this subject, creating Tropical Paper editions in 2005 with the objective of developing editorial projects by artists, for the web or print. Similarly, she has  published the newspapers Instant City, Bogotham City y Sueño de Casa Propia.

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