Paranoia and Dialogue Between Cities
Miguel Rivera, Mexican artist and director of the Engraving Department at the Kansas City Institute of Art (USA), did a three-week residency in ´ace where he carried out his project Dialogues of cities and paranoia. This exhibition was created specifically for the Políglota room in ´ace and Buenos Aires. It seeks to involve the viewer with the dangers of existence by being exposed to epidemics.
STATEMENT OF THE ARTIST
The Paranoia and Dialogue Between Cities exhibition is derived from preconceived ideas about Mexican Catholic spirituality and ignorance about biological organisms in our Latino culture. It also presents an opportunity to self-examine dialogues and facts about values as they are interpreted in different cultures. These values, more than utilitarian, are ethical. I use the metaphor of how common viruses in Latin America are used as a means of transmitting a disproportionate fear of the unknown by industrialized countries and the ignorance of many of its inhabitants. Viruses are imperceptible to the human eye, yet we still depend on devices that help us illustrate our fears. Some lethal viruses like H1N1 (born in Mexico) and AIDS (born in Africa) are ambiguous in nature as they are fascinating in their minimal cell structures.
I use repetitive elements and schemas to reinforce the constant viral presence among us and in the way they reproduce exponentially. I emphasize and alter their original forms in order to create an effect parallel to that of their mutation when they adhere to the human originating from animals. The integration of viral elements have become paramount images after seeing the massive death of birds in the state of Arkansas in 2010. The ephemeral image of an Inca pigeon became the metaphor for our collective damage to the environment. The drawing burned on a plate using laser beams have made this a symbolic and significant act of this same act.
A story that prevails in my work in a very subjective way, is the idea of using parallels in the form of molds. These molds appear and disappear in our collective memory and are transformed with new knowledge into layers or strata. At the same time, I follow the models that Christian missionaries followed to colonize cultures outside Europe. The drawings of these routes are sometimes similar to the routes as viruses have spread. These drawings are immersed and sometimes covered by images of birds and the viruses that have destroyed them. The memory fades and is retained as Polaroid photos in hopes of avoiding the fear of losing that particular memory. The ritual act of creating images becomes an important element during the second layer of these works. The act of drawing with toner powder on prints has been a paradox between the reaction to the scourging of Catholics, as an introspective and skeptical act and the dynamic energy of hand drawing resulting from an existentialist and philosophical concern.