Survival of the Idea
Edited and with text by Friedrich Meschede.
The Mexican artist Damián Ortega loves to dissemble iconic consumer goods--Coke bottles, Volkswagen Beetles, even tortilla chips--and recombine their parts to produce refreshing sculptural perspectives on their cultural meaning and function. For this book he has put together a selection of drawings, made between 1991 and 2007, that were created to plot these sculptures and their installations. Ortega, who was once a political cartoonist, retains in his drawings an open-endedness that invites the viewer to imagine the work’s possible applications. The book’s title, Supervivencia de la Idea (Survival of the Idea), refers to its partial status as an archive of ideas--some of which have already been executed, others of which await realization, as with Ortega’s recent mobile obelisk for New York’s Central Park.
Damián Ortega was born in 1967 in Mexico City and currently lives and works in Berlin, Germany. He has had solo museum exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2005), Tate Modern, London (2005) and Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia (2002), among others.