‘Political Art Sharper Than a Razor Blade’: Postcard From Montevideo – “政治艺术比剃须刀更锋利”:来自蒙得维的亚的明信片

City Report - 06 Jun 2018

‘Political Art Sharper Than a Razor Blade’: Postcard From Montevideo

From shows exploring transgender issues to work featuring politicians prancing with toilet bowls, much has changed in the Uruguayan capital 

By John Quin

On the palm tree-lined road from sleepy Colonia, I thought I might be nearing Montevideo when I passed a prison fortress with intimidating watchtowers and armed guards. Checking in to my hotel, the porter reassured me that the dodgy city centre I remembered from my last visit, five years ago, is much safer now. I asked why; ‘Liberal enlightened leadership’ came the reply. That would mean José Mujica – jail-breaker, ex-President and the original Tupamaro with a platinum card, who famously legalized marijuana back in 2012. Say hello then to stoner Montevideo, where it may not be so surprising to find political art sharper than a razor blade. 


‘Political Art Sharper Than a Razor Blade’: Postcard From Montevideo - “政治艺术比剃须刀更锋利”:来自蒙得维的亚的明信片

Margarita Aizpuru, Curadora feminisarte, 2018. Courtesy: Centro Cultural de España, Montevideo

The Centro Cultural de España (CCE) has mounted a group of pertinent and timely shows. ‘Feminisarte IV’ features work by 18 artists that hail predominantly from the Spanish-speaking world. A group of bruised women dressed in white crochet wipe away each others’ tears in video documentation of Removing Pain – Dublin (2010), a performance piece by the Brazilian artist Beth Moysés. This bears an uncanny resemblance to images that played on the news the very morning I arrived: a group of American women crying and hugging each other in the immediate aftermath of the Bill Cosby verdict. The scene seemed anticipated by Moysés’s work, a reminder of the distressingly Sisyphean progression of the #MeToo movement. 


‘Political Art Sharper Than a Razor Blade’: Postcard From Montevideo - “政治艺术比剃须刀更锋利”:来自蒙得维的亚的明信片

Ricardo Lanzarini, ‘Artefactos’, 2018, installation view. Courtesy: Xippas Gallery, Paris/Montevideo and somosMOV, Montevideo

All too often, though, pain cannot be expunged, as with Ambra Polidori’s powerful Se Busca (2011). A mock-up of a ‘Wanted’ poster, it depicts a beautiful photograph of a young girl. The image asks plaintively – what could she have done wrong? What could she be wanted for? The title is darkly ironic: Cinthia Rocio Acosta was only ten years old when she was murdered in the Ciudad Juárez drug wars. She should still be here. Meanwhile, María José Argenzio’s video 7.1 kilos (2009) captures self-inflicted pain in the search for artistic perfection; in it, a ballet dancer’s tortured feet bear an ankle chains of lead weights that clack like castanets as she practices her brisé and battements. Watching the video, it’s hard not to be reminded of John Lennon and Yoko Ono yelling in anger about the fate of women: ‘we make her paint her face and dance!’ Performance, or performativity, takes centre stage in Carmela García’s ludic series of photographs, ‘Casting’ (2008), which depict well-known actresses posing as famous lesbians: Glenn Close as Sylvia Beach, Penélope Cruz as Mercedes de Acosta, Uma Thurman as Tamara de Lempicka. Is the work a wish fulfillment, a critique of Hollywood representation or both? 


‘Political Art Sharper Than a Razor Blade’: Postcard From Montevideo - “政治艺术比剃须刀更锋利”:来自蒙得维的亚的明信片

‘Feminisarte IV’, 2018, installation view. Courtesy: Centro Cultural de España, Montevideo

If this gutsy show isn’t sufficient evidence of the perspicacity of Montevideo’s art scene, CCE has also organized ‘Jaque’, a group exhibition of Uruguayan artists exploring transgender issues, curated by Lucía Ehrich. María Mascaró’s Ovacionadas (Ovations) (2018) mocks the media’s received ideas of the body beautiful. A sequence of pages taken from a local newspaper shows a regular feature called ‘ultima ovación’ (final applause), which pairs pictures of semi-nude babes above those of buffed jocks – the twin poles exposing the fourth estate’s idea of gender normativity. With such repetition, Mascaró underlines the media’s incessant obsession with what they think we should look like and what they want us to look like. Irene Guiponi and Juan Gallo’s Gravidx (2018) is an amusing parody of the famous Beyoncé shot taken when she was pregnant – the image transformed into a similarly veiled, but now apparently male ‘pregnant’ figure (complete with moustache) caressing his belly. 


‘Political Art Sharper Than a Razor Blade’: Postcard From Montevideo - “政治艺术比剃须刀更锋利”:来自蒙得维的亚的明信片

Marco Maggi, Enveloping, 2012, Courtesy: Xippas Gallery, Paris/Montevideo

More light relief arrives at Xippas gallery, around the corner in the now obviously gentrifying Ciudad Vieja. A scabrous collection of line drawings by the Montevidean artist Ricardo Lanzarini reveals a group of ectomorphic politicians prancing around with toilet bowls, recalling the facility and wit of Max Beerbohm. Instalación (2018), from Lanzarini’s series ‘Artefactos’ – a Jean Tinguely-like construction composed of a bike wheel and chain that together power a light – helps illuminate Enveloping (2012), a pleasing paper work of delicate cuts by Marco Maggi. Maggi’s exhibition at the Uruguayan Pavilion was one of my highlights of the 2015 Venice Biennale. The considerate gallerist recommended that I visit another prison – the Miguelete – now the site of the Espacio de Arte Contemporáneo. Art in Montevideo is clearly thriving and this transformation of its jails is great to hear about but I’m apologetic, time is against me. Maybe I should take advantage of the new laws, roll a spliff and remain at large. 

Main image: Jaque, ‘Feminisarte IV’, 2018. Courtesy: Centro Cultural de España, Montevideo

John Quin

John Quin is a writer based in Brighton, UK, and Berlin, Germany. 

City Report
Xippas gallery
Max Beerbohm
Ambra Polidori
Marco Maggi
Irene Guiponi
John Quit

城市报告- 06军2018“政治艺术比剃须刀更锋利”:来自蒙得维的亚的明信片,从探索变性问题到以政客用马桶跳水为特征的工作,乌拉圭首都已经发生了很大变化。John Quin在昏昏欲睡的科洛尼亚棕榈树林荫道上,当我经过一座监狱堡垒时,我可能快要接近蒙得维的亚了。搬运工来到我的酒店,行李员向我保证,五年前我上次访问的那座城市中心现在更安全了。我问为什么,“自由开明的领导”回答。这意味着Joee MujICA,狱前破坏者,前总统和Tupamaro的白金卡,他在2012把大麻合法化。然后向斯多纳蒙得维的亚打招呼,在那里发现政治艺术比剃刀刀刃锋利可能并不令人惊讶。KKM6MARZOZIONUGURURACION 7.JPG ‘Political Art Sharper Than a Razor Blade’: Postcard From Montevideo - “政治艺术比剃须刀更锋利”:来自蒙得维的亚的明信片玛格丽塔AiPuru,CurdoOa WaliSARTE,2018。礼貌:蒙得维的亚中心文化(ESPPA),中央文化(ESCPA)已经举办了一组有针对性和及时的节目。“女巫四”的特点是由18名艺术家,主要来自西班牙语世界欢呼。一组身穿白色钩针的伤痕累累的妇女在“消除疼痛”的视频文档中抹去彼此的眼泪——都柏林(2010),这是巴西艺术家Beth Moys的表演作品。美国妇女在比尔-科斯比判决后立即哭泣和拥抱。这一场景似乎被莫伊斯的作品所预知,这提醒了人们对Ricardo Lanzarini运动的痛苦的思考。XIPASPU.10JPG ‘Political Art Sharper Than a Razor Blade’: Postcard From Montevideo - “政治艺术比剃须刀更锋利”:来自蒙得维的亚的明信片,“AtFACTOS”,2018,安装视图。礼貌:XIPPAS画廊,巴黎/蒙得维的亚和索莫斯莫夫,蒙得维的亚经常,但是,疼痛不能被删除,就像Ambra Polidori的强大SubsCu*(2011)。一张“通缉海报”的模型,描绘了一个年轻女孩的美丽照片。图像哀伤地问道,她可能做了什么错事?她想要什么?标题是黑暗的讽刺:Cinthia Rocio Acosta只有十岁时,她被谋杀在Ciudad JuaRez毒品战争。她应该还在这里。同时,玛雅·乔·阿根齐奥的影片《7.1公斤》(2009)捕捉到了艺术追求完美的自我痛苦,其中芭蕾舞演员饱受折磨的双脚承受着脚镣的枷锁,就像她在练习狂舞和击球时的板栗一样。看录像,很难不让约翰列侬和Yoko Ono对女人的命运大喊大叫:“我们让她画出脸来跳舞!”表演,或表演,在Carmela Garc的Luic系列照片,“铸造”(2008),描绘著名女演员冒充著名女同性恋者:格伦·克洛斯作为希尔维亚海滩,彭洛普克鲁兹作为梅塞德斯-德阿科斯塔,乌玛瑟曼作为塔玛拉de Lunkina。这项工作是愿望实现,是对好莱坞代表的批判还是两者兼而有之?{MGY734.4.JPG WPA6060602IMG’HyviSARTE IV’,2018,安装视图。礼貌:蒙得维的亚文化中心,如果这个大胆的表演并不能充分证明蒙得维的亚的艺术场景,CCE还组织了一个由卢克·艾哈里奇策划的乌拉圭艺术家探索变性问题的团体展览。Maiaa MasCar的OVAYNONADAS(OVIONS)(2018)嘲弄了媒体对身体的美感。一份来自当地报纸的一系列页面显示了一个有规律的特征,叫做“最后的奥瓦基”(最后的掌声),它将半裸体的婴儿的照片比作磨练的JOCKS——这两个极点揭示了第四种性别规范的观念。通过这样的重复,Mascar强调了媒体对他们认为我们应该是什么样子以及他们希望我们看起来像什么的痴迷。Irene Guiponi和Juan Gallo的《Gravixx(2018)》是一个有趣的模仿,当她怀孕时拍摄的著名的Bayon照片,这张照片变成了一个模模糊糊的,但现在显然是男性“怀孕”的人物(留着胡子)抚摸他的肚子。Lopig MMAG0121215JPG ‘Political Art Sharper Than a Razor Blade’: Postcard From Montevideo - “政治艺术比剃须刀更锋利”:来自蒙得维的亚的明信片 Marco Maggi,信封,2012,礼貌:XIPPAS画廊,巴黎/蒙得维的亚更多的轻救济到达XIPPAS画廊,在拐角处现在显然是中产阶级Ciad Vija。蒙特维安艺术家Ricardo Lanzarini的一系列粗糙的线条画展示了一群用厕所碗四处蹦蹦跳跳的生态主义政治家,回忆起马克斯·比尔博姆的设施和机智。从蓝匝日妮系列的“阿特法托斯”——安塔拉契尼(2018)——Jean Tinguely式的。由自行车轮子和链子组成的结构,共同为光提供动力-帮助照明包络(2012),一个令人愉快的纸切割精细的工作由Marco Maggi。玛格吉在乌拉圭馆的展览是我2015届威尼斯双年展的亮点之一。这位体贴的推销员建议我去另一个监狱——MigueleTe——现在是阿特卡托的遗址。艺术在蒙得维的亚显然是蓬勃发展,这种转变的监狱是很高兴听到,但我道歉,时间对我。也许我应该利用新的法律,卷起一个小圈子,然后继续逍遥法外。主要形象:Jaque,《女巫IV》,2018。礼貌:蒙得维的亚文化中心,Ci约翰奎因是一位作家,位于布赖顿,英国,柏林,德国。TY报告蒙得维的亚女权主义


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