contemporary artists, Venice Biennale

ERIKA MEZA Y JAVIER LOPEZ


As the 90s came to its end, Meza and Lopez worked in a variety of different media, a large portion of which contained a sharp political humour which invited the observer to reflect on the multiple social contractions produced by the relationship between indigenous cultures and the West.

 

 The creators often refer back to the design of socio-economic maps from which they derive what they call “The Poverty Market” into which they insert transitional variables that allow them to generate short-circuits through the construction of images.

 

In 2011, For the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA), California USA, they presented the video “Making Marketing” (Haciendo Mercado) in which a Guarani Shaman, possessed by the spirit of Philip Kotler, spends three minutes offering strategic business solutions to his people to help them escape their poverty. Words and terms that do not exist in the indigenous language are cannibalised and digested by the Guarani. This process of appropriating the discourse of the Other can modify power games and therefore symbolically invert power relationships.

 

Six months later, they took part in the exhibition “The Art Worlds Since 1989” at the ZKM museum in Karlshure, Germany, under the curatorship of Peter Weibel. On this occasion, their work “The Weight of Memory” was selected, a large scale print parodying representative conventions of anthropological photography. The authors adorn an indigenous woman from the Maka tribe with USB keys or “Informational Jewellery”. Their 12 GB capacity “storing all the information related to the programs implemented by the United Nations to combat poverty in Latin America”.

 

In 2015, they attend the 56th Venice Biennale, with an exhibition entitled “Humboldt’s Parrot. Indigenous Voices” with the German curator Alfons Hug. This project consisted of a sound installation that contained the audio recordings of fifteen South American indigenous languages on the brink of extinction.

 

Towards the end of 2017, they participated in the expo “Video Art in Latin America” at the Getty Center, Los Angeles, California USA, which brought together the most noteworthy material from the last 60 years of Latin American video art.

 

They have exhibited in museums, art centers and biennials around the world as the 11th Havana Biennial, Cuba (2009). Slough Foundation, Philadelphia, E.E.U.U (2011). Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA), California, E.E.U.U. (2011). Museum ZKM, Karlshure, Germany (2012) . Penzance Convetion, United Kingdom (2012). Wifredo Lam Center, Havana, Cuba (2012). 6th Biennial of Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil (2011). 8th. Bienal del Mercosur, Porto Alegre, Brazil (2011). 2nd. Biennial of Montevideo, Uruguay (2014). Proa Foundation, Buenos Aires (2014). 12th. Medial Arts Biennial, National Museum of Fine Arts, Santiago, Chile (2015). First International Biennial of  Visual Arts, Asunción, Paraguay (2015). 56 Venice Biennial, Italy (2015). Biennial of Curitiba, Brazil (2015). Oi Futuro Flamengo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2015). OCA Parque Ibirapuera, São Paulo, Brazil (2015). Mousonturm of Frankfurt am Main, Frankfurt, Germany (2015). Ethnological Museum, Berlin, Germany (2015). Goethe Institut, New York (2015). National Museum of Fine Arts, Argentina (2015). Goethe Institut Ramallah, West Bank, Israel (2017). Tonlagen, Dresdner Festival der Zeitgenossischen Musik, Dresden. HAU Hebbel am Ufer, Berlin (2016). Laxart, Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, E.E.U.U (2017). 11th Biennial of Mercosur, Porto Alegre, Brazil (2018), Bienalsur, Lima, Peru (2018), Bienal de Curitiba , Brasil ( 2018) among others .