1970, Mexico City
In his artistic research, Carlos Amorales is interested mainly in language and the impossibility/possibility of communicating through means that are unrecognizable or not codified: sounds, gestures, and symbols. Amorales experiments at the limits between image and sign with an array of platforms: animation, video, film, drawing, installation, performance, and sound. His practice is based on different forms of translation: instruments that become characters in his films, letters that become shapes, and narratives unfold as non-verbal actions. As the basis for many of his explorations, Amorales has used Liquid Archive: a project composed of shapes, lines and nodes instead of words that he started in 1998 and continued to nourish for over ten years. In addition to Liquid Archive, he has developed other alphabets and systems that he uses to translate texts that range from museum labels to short stories. The works of Amorales exist in an alternate world of their own making, parallel to ours; constantly evolving at the same rhythm that they are produced.
Carlos Amorales studied in Amsterdam at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie (1996–97) and Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten (1992–95). He has participated in artistic residencies at the Atelier Calder in Saché (2012) and MAC/VAL, Vitry-sur-Seine in France (2011), and as part of the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship program in Washington, D.C. (2010).
Carlos Amorales lives and works in Mexico City.
Some of his most important exhibitions include: Words of Mouth and Hands, kurimanzutto, New York, NY (2023); La serpiente de los días, Museo Kaluz, Mexico City (2022); The Factory, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2019), Axioms for Action, MUAC- Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporáneo, Ciudad de México, México (2018); Herramientas de trabajo, MAMM-Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellín, Colombia (2017); Prelude, Bellas Artes Projects Outpost, Manila, Philippines (2017); Carlos Amorales, Turku Art Museum, Finland (2016); We Will See How Everything Reverberates, as part of The Dual Year of the United Kingdom and Mexico, Turner Contemporary, Margate (2015); The Man Who Did All Things Forbidden, Philadelphia Museum of Art, United States (2014); Germinal, Museo Tamayo, Mexico City (2013); Supprimer, modifier et préserver, MAC/VAL, Vitry-sur-seine, France (2011); Discarded Spider, Cornerhouse, Manchester, United Kingdom (2010); Working Class Today… Mañana Nuevos Ricos!, Fridericianum, Kassel, Germany (2009); Dark Mirror, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland (2008); Faces, The Moore Space, Miami, United States (2007); Carlos Amorales, Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires, Argentina (2006); ¿Por qué temer al futuro?, Casa de América, Madrid and Artium, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain (2005); The Forest, Creative Time, as part of the screening The 59th Minute in Times Square, New York (2004); Fighting Evil (with Style), USF Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa, United States (2002).
His work has also been included in group exhibitions at institutions such as: Alegorías del mal gobierno Parte 3, Museo de Arte Carrollo Gil, Mexico City (2022); Cien del MUAC, Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo (MUAC-UNAM), Mexico City (2021); El círculo que faltaba, Museo Amparo, Puebla, Mexico (2020); and Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellín (MAMM), Colombia (2019); Learn to Fuck Yourself, as part of Fun & Fury!, Cabaret Voltaire, Zurich, Switzerland (2017); Dreams&Dramas, Law as Literature, Neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst (nGbK), Berlin (2017); How to read El Pato Pascual: Disney’s Latin America and Latin America’s Disney, Schindler House, MAK Center for Art and Architecture, Los Angeles, CA (2017); Unresolved, de Appel, Amsterdam (2016); La la la Human Steps, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands (2015); Under the Same Sun: Art from Latin America Today, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY (2014); Un Nouveau festival / BOOK MACHINE, Centre Pompidou, Paris (2013); Tour d’Horizon – Werke aus der Sammlung Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich, Switzerland (2012); Proyecto Juárez, Matadero Madrid (2011); Hareng Saur: Ensor and Contemporary Art, Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst (S.M.A.K.), Ghent, Belgium (2010); DLA Piper Series: This is Sculpture, Tate Liverpool, England (2009); Martian Museum of Terrestrial Art, Barbican Centre, London (2008); The Rocky Mountain People Show, Galleria Civica di Arte Contemporanea, Trento, Italy (2008); PAIXÓNS PRIVADAS, VISIÓNS PÚBLICAS, Museo de Arte Contemporánea de Vigo (MARCO), Spain (2008); All About Laughter: Humor in Contemporary Art, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2007); New Perspectives in Latin American Art, 1930–2006: Selections from a Decade of Acquisitions, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY (2007); Los Ángeles-México. Complejidades y heterogeneidad, Museo Jumex, Mexico City (2006), among others.
Carlos Amorales represented Mexico at the 57th Venice Biennial with the project Life in the Folds (2017). His work has been part other biennials such as the 10th Shanghai Biennale, China (2015); 2 and 8 Berlin Biennial (2001 and 2014); Sharjah Biennal 11, United Arab Emirates (2013); The 12th and 10th Bienal de la Habana, La Havana, Cuba (2015 and 2009); 5th SeMA Biennale Mediacity Seoul, South Korea (2008); 2 nd Moscow International Biennale of Contemporary Art (2007).