Work by Dias & Riedweg will be on view at the Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros in Cuernavaca, Mexico through June 29, 2014 as part of the exhibition inSite: Cuatro ensayos de lo público, sobre otro escenario.
inSite is a bi-national contemporary art project that organized five successive exhibitions of public art with commissioned artworks created for a specific transnational context—the region of Tijuana, Baja California, and San Diego, California. inSite anticipated artistic and curatorial developments in contemporary art by expanding the notion of site-specificity and public art beyond the physical and geographic conditions of a place, redirecting them towards events and temporary processes involving participation and co-production. From 1992 to 2005, more than 200 works were commissioned—a body of work that provides an exceptional analysis of the apparatuses of control at work in the public and ideological constructs made explicit by the Mexico-United States border. Addressing the collective and individual alliances that inform a sense of belonging to a particular place, inSite also delved into how territories, inhabitants and specify communities are impacted by globalization.
inSite: Cuatro ensayos de lo público, sobre otro escenario (inSite: Four rehearsals on that which is public, on another scenario) offers a retrospective view on inSite: 1994, 1997, 2000-2001 and 2005. These are presented in La Tallera and its surroundings through 18 selected artworks. The concept of the “essay” as a literary typology is applied to this exhibition to analyze each edition’s experimentation with new models of public art. Translation of Spanish term “ensayo” also denotes rehearsal of an established script or score that permits, even requires, interpretation. The potential performance associated with the practice of rehearsing, and the stage or “scenario” of the title, are employed as guiding metaphors to inquire into the nature of place and time in a new context: the city of Cuernavaca and the issues that condition public life in Mexico today.
This exhibition explores the artistic, curatorial and discursive strategies of each edition, offering the possibility of new interpretations of the artworks presented. inSite 1994 was a multi-venue exhibition of site-specific and installation art that served to unmask the temporal makeup of a place through the presentation of political artworks that made visible historical narratives occluded deep within a territory. Three years later, inSite 1997 reflected upon the previous edition and focused fully on the complexities of “public space” as a concept, particularly as this defines individual identity in the hybrid and constantly mutating context of the border. Events, participatory processes, and the exchange between artists and groups in specific communities informed temporal and object-based commissions in the 2000-2001 edition. inSite 2005 inserted itself fully in the fluid and situational negotiations that constitute the social and ideological foundations of a place. By fostering engagement, co-production, participation, and process over object, curators and artists set out to intervene into the political construction of the public domain and create new collective imaginaries.
The similes of essay, scenario and performance make it possible to be faithful to the four editions of inSite presented in this retrospective exhibition. At the same time, the project opens to other readings and points of views by engaging new publics and sites. In the spirit of Augusto Boal, a performance is more than a staging of group catharsis or symbolic ritual; it is rather an invitation to action in real space and time. inSite: Cuatro ensayos de lo público, sobre otro escenario calls audiences to reflection, but also to action, on the urgent social and political questions that shape this city today, and the country, and conform our public life.
- Lucía Sanromán
Eduardo Abaroa, Carlos Aguirre, Allora & Calzadilla, Francis Alÿs, Carlos Amorales, Mauricio Dias y Walter Riedweg, Andrea Fraser, Anya Gallaccio, Silvia Gruner, Janet Koenig y Gregory Sholette, Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, Allan McCollum, Marcos Ramírez ERRE, Allan Sekula, Javier Téllez, Althea Thauberger, Judi Werthein, Krzysztof Wodiczk