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press: damián ortega wins the zurich art prize (2023)

The Museum Haus Konstruktiv and Zurich Insurance Company Ltd. awarded the Mexican artist Damián Ortega with the Zurich Art Prize. The Museum press release states: “over the past three decades, in both the institutional and public space, Ortega has thus developed a distinct artistic language that is simultaneously poetic, humorous, and filled with tension.”
Ortega’s work entered the international art circle with “Cosmic Thing,” an installation of a vintage Volkswagen disassembled and suspended that was presented at the Venice Biennale in 2003. The artist mentions in an interview with Alma Ruiz about this work, published in ArtNexus No.59, “It’s a piece that I had floating around in my head for years. It’s a Volkswagen (VW) sedan, one of the more common cars in Mexico City. For many people, it offers the only possibility to have their own car and get around town. There are even taxis using that model. I drive one of them too. I liked the notion of creating something like a dinosaur displayed in a natural history museum. It’s also a kind of assembly plan. You can see all of the elements that form the fragmented car, with its parts suspended, on display.”