The Galleries at Moore present Strange Currencies: Art & Action in Mexico City, 1990–2000

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Francis Alÿs, Paradox of Praxis I (Sometimes Doing Something Leads to Nothing), 1997. Photographic documentation of an action. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Enrique Huerta.

The Galleries at Moore College of Art & Design

Strange Currencies: Art & Action in Mexico City, 1990–2000
The Galleries at Moore College of Art & Design
20th Street and The Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Hours: Monday–Thursday and Saturday 11am–5pm,
Friday 11am–8pm


www.thegalleriesatmoore.org


The Galleries at Moore College of Art & Design are pleased to announce Strange Currencies: Art & Action in Mexico City, 1990–2000, a major exhibition that explores what artists were making—and making happen—in the megalopolis during this fraught and formative decade. Strange Currencies examines the emergence of experimental artistic practices in Mexico City in the 1990s, a decade defined by a catastrophic economic crisis, enormous social upheaval and poverty, widespread political corruption, a chronic rise in violence, and continuous instability due to the destabilizing effects of globalization.

In this singular, decisive moment in the city's cultural history, artists were uniquely able to experiment with new forms and take artistic risks that radically altered the dynamics of the local art scene. In a time informed by hopelessness and pessimism, artists rejected traditional art forms in favor of unorthodox, ephemeral, action-based and socially-engaged practices that were often cynical, subversive and irreverent, linked art and everyday life, and critically reflected the momentous events unfolding around them.

Strange Currencies brings together a group of 28 artists who were active in Mexico City in the 1990s and whose divergent practices reflect the multiplicity of themes, approaches and perspectives that developed and emerged during this pivotal decade. The exhibition includes approximately 80 artworks in a broad range of media, including sculpture, photography, video, painting, installation, performance and sound. All of the works were carefully chosen for their ability to function as points of departure for a deeper investigation and understanding of key issues and ideas that artists were exploring at the time, including gender, class, the flow of economic and symbolic capital, social inequity and struggle, violence, urbanism, youth culture and the realities of everyday life in a city permanently in crisis.

The exhibition presents an alternative, lesser-known history of 1990s Mexico City and recaptures the dynamic spirit that defined the decade's diffuse and vibrant cultural scene. It brings together iconic and lesser-known works—many never exhibited outside of Mexico—that are both artifacts from a pivotal moment in the Mexico City art world and key markers in the cultural history of the city.

Featured artists include: Eduardo Abaroa, Francis Alÿs, Marco Arce, Gustavo Artigas, Iñaki Bonillas, Miguel Calderón, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Minerva Cuevas, Claudia Fernández, Thomas Glassford, Silvia Gruner, Daniel Guzmán, Jonathan Hernández, Gabriel Kuri, Teresa Margolles, Taniel Morales, Yoshua Okón, Fernando Ortega, Luis Felipe Ortega, Vicente Razo, Daniela Rossell, SEMEFO, Santiago Sierra, Melanie Smith, Sofía Táboas, Laureana Toledo, Pablo Vargas Lugo and Lorena Wolffer.

The exhibition is curated by Kaytie Johnson, the Rochelle F. Levy Director and Chief Curator of The Galleries at Moore, and is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue. It is complemented by a series of public programs and events, including a symposium and a curated film series at International House Philadelphia.

A complete list of events and programs scheduled in conjunction with the exhibition is available at www.thegalleriesatmoore.org.

Major support for Strange Currencies: Art & Action in Mexico City, 1990–2000 has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, with additional support from the Mexican Cultural Center and the Consulate General of Mexico in Philadelphia.

Media information
Michele Cohen: T +215 965 4065 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


About The Galleries at Moore
The Galleries at Moore support Moore College of Art & Design's educational mission and role as a cultural leader by providing a forum for exploring contemporary art and ideas, and enriching the artistic climate and intellectual climate of the college, the Greater Philadelphia community, and beyond. As a gateway between the College and the city of Philadelphia, The Galleries are a catalyst for creative exploration, experimentation and scholarship and function as a gathering place to meet, reflect, learn, challenge and create. The Galleries' exhibitions and programs—which are all free and open to the public—create community through dialogue and participation, and inspire an appreciation for the visual arts as a vital force in shaping contemporary culture.

All of The Galleries' exhibitions and events are free and open to the public.