Group We have the Duchamp Curated by Stefan Brüggemann & Mario García Torres, GAM Mexico City Mexico 2006
Galeria de Arte Mexicano is pleased to present We Have the Duchamp… an exhibition that beyond setting in opposition the paradigms and negotiations between the work and thinking of Marcel Duchamp and the more explicit relation of the exhibited works to the practices of the so-called conceptual artist from the late 1960’s and 70’s, it displays the conflation of those legacies as seen from our current social and political context.
Through an implicit narrative that takes a historical moment in the gallery as it’s starting point, We Have the Duchamp… is both a revolving of past histories, and a subtle illustration of the context that allows the production of these specific works. In other words; how to conflate the relationship of the Mexican art world and the avant-garde artist from the early century, the late influence of the non-object-oriented practice of the late sixties and seventies on the understanding of the work of art in our country and the negotiation of the contemporary artists towards the massive global cultural production?
Organized by Breton, Paalen and Moro, the International Exhibition of Surrealism took place during January and February, 1940 at the Galería de Arte Mexicano, where three works of Duchamp where shown along works by Picasso, Rivera, Kahlo, Magritte and Dalí, to mention just a few. If it is difficult to think the three works by the French artist had any repercussions in the Mexican scene, it is clear that today, it is a consensus that not a small amount of artists are clearly influenced by his thinking and production.
Instead of implying that the works at We Have the Duchamp… have any direct interest in reclaiming such a legacy, the show tells a story where some anonymous person has decided to trade a long-time lost Duchamp for a number of contemporary works that are less preoccupied to create a specific lineage for them than to use and misuse historical works in order to reflect today’s matters.
In We Have the Duchamp… contemporary works that are influenced both from historical art sources as well as popular culture and everyday politics. These works are as well shown along work from key artists working along or after the so-called conceptual art movement. If the Duchamp / so-called early Conceptual Art discussion is a well documented academic argument labeled by the October group as the The Duchamp Effect and rectified by Seth Siegelaub as the “Duchamp fixation”, this show pretends to, beyond acknowledging a Buchloh-written genealogy from Duchamp to the Institutional Critique, to take a stake at how to restore and negotiate those legacies that were in both of the cases extremely related to the everyday cultural production, re-read, this time, from a place like Mexico in the limits of the over codified world.
The artists in the show are: Joseph Kosuth, General Idea, Aldo Chaparro, Stefan Brüggemann, Mario García Torres, Simon Popper, Jenny Holzer, Hugo Hopping, Jonathan Monk, Karl Holmqvist, Los Super Elegantes and Matthew Laurette.