An Exhibition About the Exchange Rates of Bodies and Values
Edited by Klaus Biesenbach, Alanna Heiss, Anthony Huberman. Contributions by Pedro Reyes, Jonathan Hernndez. Text by Patricia Martin, Guillermo Santamarina, Cuauhtemoc Medina, Gabriel Kuri, Glenn Lowry.
Living in a cramped space where Beverly Hills and Calcutta meet every day, the artists gathered here explore the tension between wealth and poverty, among progress, stagnation, and improvisation, and between the violence and civility that animates the vibrant center that is Mexico City. Compounding the complexity of urban living, high rates of kidnapping, murder and pollution become a daily threat. For the rich, the body becomes an object to be cared for, protected, even exchanged for ransom, while, for an underclass of day laborers, homeless people, and prostitutes, survival depends on participation in physically exploitative situations that place an exact commercial value on the body. Alluding to recent art historical movements such as body art, process art, and arte povera, these artists use everyday objects and situations to form a complex dialogue about Mexico City and its relationship with the first world, focusing on the influence of the global economy on aesthetic values and daily life. Daniela Rossell's series of photographs, Ricas y Famosas, captures the endangered species of the rich and famous in their ornate and overprotective environments, and Francis Als documents people pushing and pulling their wares to and from the marketplace, leveraging their body weight against the commercial value they are physically dragging along.