How might we reimagine kurimanzutto after its 20 years of existence?
How can we propose a different way of experiencing time?
What place does the gallery occupy in the world, the country, and within each of the communities to which it belongs?
What permeates its surroundings and what will shape its future?
Art asks questions, it doesn’t give answers.
Siembra is an exhibition that started on February 2020 and will be extended as long as the current climate will permit. The gallery space is divided into seven rooms to be inhabited or articulated by different artists, projects and collectives, both from gallery roster and externally. The span of each project corresponds to their own creative process, not to an imposed calendar; all of them are independent and have no predetermined duration. The coincidences are woven just like sowing times in agriculture.
Siembra opens the gallery as a space of possibilities, a field in which time and space relate progressively, simultaneously, at different speeds. In it, cross pollination, thought cultivation and experiments in diversity converge to reach a possible harvest.
Since February 2020, kurimanzutto sought to reimagine itself after more than 20 years of exhibition making Siembra came as an experiment in which time and process were allowed to expand and mutate. The gallery became a ground of encounter between artists and communities, as it opened its space to host artistic practices from within and outside of its programme and roster of artists.
Siembra hosted a total of 37 independent exhibitions by artists of all ages and practices, allowing a cross-pollination of art, exchange and ideas that occurred at different moments. The seven rooms hosted artists, such as Abraham Cruzvillegas, Damián Ortega, Mariana Castillo Deball, Minerva Cuevas, Gabriel Orozco, Dr. Lakra, Sofía Táboas, Gabriel Kuri, and Daniel Guzmán, but also invited guests, such as Roberto Gil de Montes, Wendy Cabrera Rubio, Daniela Rossel and Galen Jackson, Bárbara Sánchez-Kane, Alicia Ayanegui, and Pablo Soler-Frost. Galleries and collectives also participated throughout the period, such as Galería Agustina Ferreyra, Salón Silicón, YOPE project space and Bikini Wax, among many others.
Coincidences between experiences, preoccupations, themes and sensibilities were interwoven, akin the sewing of crops in agriculture. The length and breadth of the project revealed the inter-connectedness of individuals inside environments and ecosystems of creation.
Paloma Contreras’s presentation is the outcome of a blackout, a phenomenological essay representing artificially. The installation is broken up into stones, caves, ashes and pantheistic clouds of smoke that create a mock landscape. Each element is accompanied by a spectre, a ghost or an apparition, just like questions in the wind. For the artist, there is no universal phantom, and what she is laying out in these phenomenological/political invocations are different methodologies to listen to the constructed landscape, to the landscape as witness.
For the final session of Siembra in kurimanzutto, the Argentinean artist Mariana Telleria exhibits a record of her intervention Las noches de los días / The Nights of the Days (2014) for which she displays a device constructed expressly for Siembra 34.
One morning, in August of 2014, the city of Rosario—the third largest city in Argentina by population—awoke in an upheaval: the traditional Museo Municipal de Bellas Artes Juan B. Castagnino had changed the usual color of its exterior and was painted entirely black.
Months prior, Telleria had received an invitation to participate in Ampliación / Broadening, a collective exhibit curated by Leandro Comba. T he title itself already suggested the direction the artist would take. She sent an email to the curator describing her proposal...
Adrián Villar Rojas presents Untitled VI, VII, VIII (from the series Rinascimento), a suite of domestic refrigerators with a vitrine encased within the freezer, where he creates compositions made of organic and processed foodstuffs – fruit, fish, beer, mushrooms, bones and animal flesh. The sculptural works are part of From the series Rinascimento (2015-ongoing), in which the artist employs traditional refrigerators to insist in their domestic and minimalistic aesthetic. Moreover, Villar Rojas imprints in them his prevalent interest in the entropy of the Anthropocene while he meditates on the fragility of life and our omnipresent relationship with machines. During the course of the exhibition these natures mortes are fixed in time as they are covered by frost, changing little by little by the effect of temperature on its tissues and matter.
Eduardo Abaroa presents a selection of drawings on paper and wood that also include small format sculptures made of diverse materials, and a drawing table with archival material. The automatic act of drawing during idle moments or while talking on the phone, listening to a lecture, or waiting for paperwork is for Abaroa the testimony of particular time periods in his life. After half a decade of idle doodling, that is to say, without apparent intention, the artist thought he perceived that in many of these something could be saved and developed. The resulting works demonstrate the symbolic value of the freehand, associative imagery and boundless imagination in sketching the subconscious.
Jou Morales’s installation for Siembra emerges from a mixture of strident and hypnotic sounds and colors, graphic references of contemporary culture, playful experiences and everyday life that the artist has captured on his canvases. The beings he represents, disformed and palpitating, mutate, self-construct, cannibalize, mix and collapse in a non-linear narrative. These protagonists develop in scenarios that are close-ups of compositional elements from other paintings in the project, with no beginning or end in this series. A bone, a cell or a rock, expanded, are now the background for new elements that are expanded in another painting. All the pieces intertwine and generate a non-narrative cycle made of pauses, replicas, remainders and quotations of themselves.
Fernando Ortega presents Manicure for Siembra, a project with which he seeks to provoke a voluntary synaesthetic response based on color and music. Intervened photographs come from the artist's personal archive, in which he has accumulated still images of the hands of renowned musicians that he has extracted from videos of concerts and piano recitals. For this he draws on the expertise of manicurists, who are colorists by trade, and invites them to respond spontaneously and personally to a piece of music through color. As part of the process, each manicurist listens to a piece of piano music chosen by the artist and then select a nail polish color based on what the music elicits to, and applies it on a photograph of the concert they have just heard.
Feathered Changes, Serpent Disappearances presents an archaeological search for absence and a study in the gaps of memory. What role does chance—in the form of lapsed time, erosion, fragmentation, and human intervention—play in our subjective interpretation of history? By lingering on the unknown histories of artifacts, Deball underscores the effects of natural and social processes within archaeological narratives.
For Siembra, Abraham Cruzvillegas presents three brand new hanging sculptures built with materials that he took from works made throughout his career in museums and galleries around the world. To compose them, Cruzvillegas uses discarded everyday objects and materials found in situ, such as marine sponges, millstones, sheepskin or a mold for piloncillo. These objects that have their own biography and that have witnessed events, experiences and processes of the artist, are now presented in Siembra, gathered under a new configuration.
Gabriel Kuri presents in Siembra his project Statistical Cover Up, a sculptural exercise where a series of objects arranged along the wall occupy the entire length of the space in precise positions, creating a rhythm over an orange carpet. Among them there are objects that were found, manufactured, assembled, some are isolated and others in the immediate presence of variables of their type. These have been altered to a different extent and reveal a greater or lesser degree of specificity and mediation, some more crude and synthetic, others more defined in their function or brand.
Iñaki Bonillas presents Jazz Covers from the J.R. Plaza in Siembra, a series that explores the relationship between photographic language and design in the visual communication of jazz. The care in graphic design, the variety of abstract shapes, the rich color palette, and the authenticity and intimacy of the album covers from the late 1950s and 1960s fascinated Bonillas. Two decades ago, the artist inherited an enormous collection of photographs and personal material from his grandfather José Rodríguez Plaza. Among the documents in this archive is an extensive collection of self-portraits, where body language and image composition make him look like an attractive and charismatic icon or celebrity. Bonillas found resonances between the self-portraits and the photographs on the covers of these jazz albums. For the works he presents, the artist removes the text from the covers and replaced the photographs of the musicians with self-portraits by J.R. Plaza. By eliminating the text from the covers, Bonillas brings to the foreground the different visual elements of the composition and shows the influence of abstract art in their design.
Alicia Ayanegui presents Shadow in my memory in Siembra, a pictorial series that investigates the darkness of the nocturnal twilight in which everyday objects and places seem to disappear due to the lack of light. The pieces evoke darkness as a metaphor of the memory in a misty and ephemeral appearance in which a figuration and abstraction coexist, built from a gestural stroke and synthetic drawing of the forms. In the dark, the shapes of objects fade, their outlines are fuzzy, the colors dim almost completely, and it seems that a layer of linear gray covers everything in its path. Ayanegui seeks to recreate this appearance pictorially and elaborates a study of the nuances that exist in the darkness of the night.
kurimanzutto presents a selection of drawings made by Jimmie Durham between 1989 and 2020 in Siembra. Enigmatic and apparently innocent or accidental, they move away from the illustrative intention of drawing as a medium in favor of a poetic exploration of drawing as a way of writing, or of writing as a drawing act, as well as the relationship between forms and concepts. The set of drawings encompass different types of gestures or operations on paper: interventions on old record sheets, texts that become scribbles, traces of objects covered in graphite thrown against a paper, abstractions on found documents, or unruly lines that pulse along a rulebook sheet for training engineering purposes. The found papers that he uses emanate temporal thickness and store stories, traces, memories or information that depend on their material support to continue existing in the world.
For his second exhibition in Siembra, Dr. Lakra presents a series of collages on lithographs made from 19th century print, which originate from encyclopaedic publications in his collection that portray famous historical figures. Personalities such as Descartes, Plato, Copernicus and Isaac Newton appear sliced, combined and layered with a repertoire of graphic elements from various branches of science: anatomical, zoological and botanical illustrations from natural history publications.
The practice of Heather Guertin is grounded in painting but has included performance, writing and humor, all of which engage in the relationship between observation and imaginative expression. On the other hand, the work of Leonel Salguero is concerned with the tension and erosion between the ordinary and the unexpected, as well as the life of everyday objects.
On the morning of Sunday November 2nd 1975, the lifeless body of the poet, writer and filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini was found. The day before, Pasolini had given an interview to Furio Colombo. This interview took place on Saturday, November 1st between four and six in the afternoon, a few hours before Pasolini was murdered.
YOPE project space is a physical / virtual mutant platform dedicated to the production, exhibition and dissemination of contemporary art Oaxacan, national and international, based in the city of Oaxaca de Juárez Oaxaca. Established in 2017 and managed by Andy Medina, David Zafra Gatica, Gibran Mendoza, Kasser Sánchez, Jou Morales, Julio García Aguilar and Vidal Martinez.
lorena ancona, maría sosa y tania ximena
LLANO presents a collective project with recent work by Mexican artists: Lorena Ancona (Quintana Roo, 1981), María Sosa (Michoacán, 1985) and Tania Ximena (Hidalgo, 1985). Rhythms and Shadows (2021) by Lorena Ancona is an installation that consists of a hanging sculpture made of connected pieces of wood, ceramics, and stucco representative of abstracted native figures. The installation will be part of a series of future pieces that articulates a fragmented narrative that draws upon visual allusions to water, the symbolism of jade as representation of luxury and paradise, and the sound of two colliding stones.
Bárbara Sánchez-Kane presents Prêt-à-Patria at Siembra 21, a project that combines art and fashion in video, the artist’s solution to performance during a time of social distancing. The piece, formulated like a play, addresses the construction of masculinity within the Army as an institution, though her work at large revolves around the examination of identities based on gender. Prêt-à-Patria's plot centers around a military escort parade complete with a marching band all in costumes designed by the artist.
Damián Ortega presents Labor day in Siembra 20, a set of works that were born from the continuous exercise of self observation that confinement meant for him. This pause led the artist to reconsider the modes of production of work and to seek solutions that would allow him to dispense with mechanical technology and work more from the domestic environment than in the workshop. In this search, which resulted in an introspective and cathartic game through manual work and self-representation, he began to use residual materials and objects of daily use.
Wilfredo Prieto presents his Fake News project at Siembra 19. The series is comprised of paintings that are a result of a rigorous daily exercise entailing the artist’s close read of the national and international news. He then interprets the information (or misinformation) of that mornings’ media through painting, titling each with the headline that it is in response to. The process transforms the news into pictorial abstractions, whereby one representation of reality is translated into another.
utopista / quiauitl
In Utopista / quiauitl, Minerva Cuevas presents a collection of posters created over the past two decades for her presentation at Siembra 18, assembled together for the first time. Posters and murals, as mediums, have been fundamental means in her artistic and political practice throughout her career. Siembra 18 materializes a series of 22 serigraphs, graphics globally produced for various social contexts, that visually guide the observer through the investigations and constant concerns in her work.
Siembra invites Salón Silicón gallery to plant and harvest during the rest of 2020. Their proposal is based on the theme of SEX, divided into three different times and stages. This space will also include an upcoming activity program to share, think and live SEX. The show will be designed around three themes, three nearly independent shows, Holy Trinity style: SEXplay, SEXwork, SEXtrauma.
february 8, 2020
siembra 1: Haegue Yang—Dress Vehicle / Eclectic Totemic
siembra 2: Gabriel Orozco—Veladoras Arte Universal
siembra 3: Eduardo Abaroa—Collector’s Series
siembra 6: Dr. Lakra—Untitled
september 7, 2020
siembra 8: Pablo Soler Frost —Drawing Room
siembra 10: Sofía Táboas – Liminar
siembra 11: Carlos Amorales – Orgy of Narcisus
siembra 12 part 1: Miguel Calderón – Buenavista, Guerrero, abril 2020
siembra 13a: Salón Silicón – SEXplay
octubre 31, 2020
siembra 13b: Salón Silicón – SEXwork
siembra 14b: Galería Agustina Ferreyra – Ad Minoliti and Zadie Xa
november 28, 2020
siembra 12 part 2: Miguel Calderón – Amenaza Cocotera
siembra 15: Roberto Gil de Montes – Misfits
march 9, 2021
siembra 13c: Salón Silicón – SEXtrauma
siembra 17: Wilfredo Prieto – Pairless Socks
siembra 18: Minerva Cuevas – Utopista / quiauitl
april 10, 2021
siembra 19: Wilfredo Prieto – Fake News
april 27, 2021
siembra 20: Damián Ortega – Jornada Laboral
siembra 21: Bárbara Sánchez-Kane – Prêt-à-Patria
siembra 22: LLANO – Lorena Ancona, María Sosa y Tania Ximena
siembra 23: YOPE Project Space - Loma bonita
june 12, 2021
july 10, 2021
siembra 25: Dr. Lakra
august 21, 2021
siembra 26: Abraham Cruzvillegas - Rastrojo
siembra 27: Gabriel Kuri - Statistical Cover Up
siembra 29: Fernando Ortega - Manicure
siembra 30: Alicia Ayanegui - Shadow in my memory
siembra 31: Jimmie Durham - drawings
october 23, 2021
siembra 33: Paloma Contreras Lomas - Cartucho (la nación espiritual)
siembra 34: Mariana Telleria - Las noches de los días
siembra 35: Adrián Villar Rojas - Untitled VI (from the series rinascimiento)
siembra 36: Eduardo Abaroa - Otros especímenes
siembra 37: Jou Morales - Atlas de la loma