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Torre C3 (Celosía clave 3), Torre C4 (Celosía clave 4),
Torre C5 (Celosía clave 5), Torre C9 (Celosía clave 9), Torre C17 (Celosía clave 17), 2013
Instalación de cemento, arena, alambrón, alambre, celosía y triciclo para venta
Cortesía del artista y LABOR, Ciudad de México
Last Friday September 1st, the artist Héctor Zamora’s (CDMX, 1974) retrospective exhibit was inaugurated at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey (Museum of Contemporary Art of Monterrey). Those of us who went to see Re/vuelta that day found an installation/ intervention in the lobby of the museum made up of a series of wheelbarrows carrying bricks that “block” the passage.
The piece is a tribute to construction workers, and at the same time a sort of autobiographical tale, since each of the bricks is inscribed with the raised word “México”. Zamora has lived abroad for several years; first in Sao Paulo, and now in Lisbon, so he remembers his home country with a mix of pride and nostalgia.
Once inside, we discovered a chronological route through two decades of Zamora’s production, starting with exercises from the beginning of his career of notable (and literal) lightness. At the time, these exercises consisted of interventions of public and private spaces. His model of the intervention of the inside of a building in a gallery in Colonia Roma in Mexico City titled PNEU (2003) is noteworthy, and can be described as an invasive red element that “lived off” of an air pump’s air pressure. Equally impressive is his participation in the famous “Wind Towers”- a sculpture Uruguayan artist Gonzalo Fonseca made in 1968 for the Ruta de la Amistad- which from 1999 to 2002 became an alternative space for artistic projects.
In 2000, Zamora installed his piece titled a=360r/R there, for which he tensed an elastic white membrane that substantially covered and modified the sculpture’s interior. We can’t not mention the spectacular model and photographic registry of his intervention of the Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil in 2004, titled Paracaidista. Av. Revolución #1608bis. In this monumental intervention, the artist attached a parasite house to the facade of the museum, in which he lived for some months.
The tour through the exhibit is dynamic, as documentary material is woven with very palpable pieces. That’s the case with three series of concrete sculptures inspired by structural geometry. At first glance, these pieces make a commentary on the spiritual charge of votive oriental architecture (Sesshas, 2010), and the modern prodigy of the talented Spanish architect Félix Candela, who in Mexico built several works of art. With HYPARS (2014), Zamora pays him tribute.
The piece in the lobby made it clear that a present element of Zamora’s work is the brick, and so surprise invades the visitor as he or she faces huge installations built directly inside the rooms of this museum. In the Artist Talk hosted previously with curator Gonzalo Ortega, Zamora commented that the brick is the result of the “culturization” of the land. In the end, a brick is baked mud and a very strong object, and from the accumulation of bricks the essence of architecture is born.
Ruptura, 2016 Performance (Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, São Paulo, Brasil)
Video (4:09 min) Cortesía del artista y Luciana Brito Galería, São Paulo
Parallel to this and with impeccable montage, the video registries of some of the most emblematic pieces of the artist’s career are also included, from his participation in the Venice Biennale with the piece titled Sciame di Dirigibili (2009); to more recent pieces like Orden y Progreso (2012), El abuso de la historia (2014) and Ruptura (2016). In all of these, Zamora’s interest in providing evidence for social injustice, the political class’ insensibility and the destruction of the environment is more and more obvious.
That same Friday, as we neared the end of the exhibit, what had started as a far-away echo at the beginning of the journey gained strength and became a rhythmic explosion. A large group of professional performers were making differently flavored ice creams in the last room. They were professional percussionists who made music using the traditional technique for making ice cream in public Mexican plazas. Héctor Zamora’s vision was achieved through the persistent spin of their metal bottles inside containers with ice and salt in front of a large audience.
Re/vuelta was more of a celebration than a protest. This is the way the artist decided to approach the mental revolution oriented towards the recognition and dignification of various trades. With this performance and the works selected for the exhibit, Zamora seeks to recognize the work of ice cream makers, construction workers, carpenters, blacksmiths, and many other trades, without whose contribution the very idea of civilization and progress would not be possible.
Re/vuelta is open to the public until January 7th of next year. It’s well worth the trip to visit MARCO to enjoy another exhibition that’s part of a long history of memorable events. Moreover, whoever wishes to know more about the work of Héctor Zamora, we invite you to download the LARMAGAZINE.019 Revivals Avant Garde issue from our app, for free, where we have included his portfolio.