ACCA
Dwelling Poetically: Mexico City, a case study

21 April–24 June

One of the great cross-roads of north America, Mexico City has taken prominence not only as one of Americas most populous urban centres, and as Latin Americas strongest economy, but as a node of rich and potent cultural production, in part thanks to a whole generation of artists from the ‘90s through to the burgeoning, much-discussed contemporary art scene of today. 

In this new exhibition curated by Chris SharpDwelling Poetically: Mexico City, a case study proposes a subjective portrait of the Mexican capital through a selection of artists that live there, have lived there, or have only passed through and yet have nevertheless contributed to its composition. It considers the way artists and cities mutually transform each other.

‘A city, it could be argued, is the sum of its portrayals,’ says Sharp. ‘The more it is depicted, the more it enters the symbolic and global imaginary, as both what a city is and what it can be. It has been claimed that if Paris was the capital of the 19th century, and New York the capital of the 20th, then Mexico City is the capital of the 21st. Artists such as Francis Alÿs, Abraham Cruzvillegas and Melanie Smith are crucial factors in the development and cultivation of Mexico City, as place, myth, metropolis and site of cultural production in the global imaginary.’

ACCA’s Artistic Director and CEO, Max Delany notes: ‘ACCA is especially excited to be working with curator Chris Sharp and participating artists to present this rich and complex exhibition which considers the psychological profile of one of the world’s most dynamic urban contexts, through the work of some of its most prominent artists and emerging figures – from Francis Alÿs and Abraham Cruzvillegas whose works reflect the transition of artistic practice from the studio to the streets, to the moving video works by Melanie Smith and Jaki Irvine which consider the concrete realities and poetic qualities of the urban metropolis, to the paintings and assemblages of Andrew Birk, Chelsea Culprit and ektor garcia which register the layered textures and vernacular languages of the city itself.

‘ACCA is also pleased to welcome three of the participating artists – Martin Soto Climent, ektor garcia and Isabel Nuño de Buen – who will be producing new work for the exhibition whilst undertaking residencies in Melbourne’, he said.

Chris Sharp is a writer and independent curator currently based in Mexico City, where he runs the project space Lulu with Mexican artist Martin Soto Climent. He has curated numerous international exhibitions, including most recently, Against Nature, co-curated with Edith Jerabkova at the National Gallery of Prague, 2016; A Change of Heart at Hannah Hoffman gallery, Los Angeles, 2016; As if in a foreign country, at Galerie Nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder, Vienna, 2016; The Secret and Abiding Politics of Stones at La Casa del Lago, Mexico City, 2015; The Registry of Promise at La Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2014, Le Parc St. Léger, Pougues-les-Eaux, France, 2014, Le Crédac, Ivry, France, 2014, and De Vleeshal, Middelburg, Holland, 2015; The 12th Swiss Sculpture Exhibition in Biel/Bienne, Switzerland, entitled Le Mouvement, co-curated with Gianni Jetzer, 2014.

contributing editor of Art Review and Art Agenda, Sharp was recently appointed co-curator (with Dr Zara Stanhope) of New Zealand artist Dane Mitchell’s presentation for the 58th Venice Biennale.

Dwelling Poetically: Mexico City, a case studyAustralian Centre for Contemporary Art
21 April – 24 June 2018, developed by guest curator Chris Sharp, assisted by Fabiola Talavera, with new new and existing work by:  Francis Alÿs, Andrew Birk, Ramiro Chaves, Martin Soto Climent, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Chelsea Culprit, ektor garcia, Yann Gerstberger, Jaki Irvine, Kate Newby, Melanie Smith, Isabel Nuño de Buen.