As the title implies, this show highlights South American and Latino artists whose work crosses all media and disciplines, including significant examples by Francis Alÿs, Maria Fernanda Cardoso, Enrique Chagoya, Iran do Espírito Santo, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Alfredo Jaar, Gabriel Kuri, Ana Mendieta, Vik Muniz, Gabriel Orozco, Victor Payan, Rubèn Ortiz Torres, Marcos Ramirez (ERRE) and Perry Vasquez.
Mexican video artist Gustavo Artigas studies identity and social interaction in a literal way in his 2000 DVD work The Rules of the Game. The video depicts two American basketball teams and two Mexican soccer teams playing their games simultaneously on a handball court in the border town of Tijuana. In some cases, identity is explored through nostalgia and traditional images. For María Fernando Cardoso, memory and individual perception play large roles in her installation Cemetery—Vertical Garden, based largely on the Cementario Central in her native Bogotá.
In Alfredo Jaar’s multimedia work Six Seconds, Jaar explores the creation of a cultural identity amidst the violence and genocide in Rwanda during the late 20th century, of which Jaar has said, “the disjunction was enormous and the tragedy unrepresentable.”
Inigo Manglano-Ovalle’s Paternity Test studies identity as a bridge between humanity and science. Paternity Test offers DNA mapping images from board members at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, that were repurposed to form an abstracted, visually stunning piece that represents scientific identity as art.
Many artists reconstruct common objects or cultural icons to question predetermined identities. For example, Perry Vasquez and Victor Payan modify American symbols to satirize border politics in their Keep on Crossin’, an installation that borrows from R. Crumb’s iconic “Keep on Truckin’.” In Untitled (Superama), Gabriel Kuri elevates the ephemeral to the monumental by re-creating a Wal-Mart receipt as a traditional Mexican tapestry, ultimately commenting on culture and consumerism.
Weatherspoon Art Museum Web Site