Last chance to see: nomadic design gallery Masa honours Ana Mendieta in Oaxaca

Last chance to see: nomadic design gallery Masa honours Ana Mendieta in Oaxaca

Masa showcases five of Ana Mendieta’s filmworks alongside five artists’ installations on the site of the first medical clinic in Oaxaca, Mexico

Mexico City-based design gallery Masa has announced a new exhibition, ‘Elementos Vitales’ (until 15 December 2021), which will showcase five filmworks by Cuban-American artist Ana Mendieta (1948 – 1985), alongside installations from five architects, designers and artists.

The exhibition, curated by Mexico City-based writer Su Wu, marks the first time these five films will be shown in Oaxaca, the state in which they were created. They follow Cuba-born Mendieta’s journey to Mexico and the establishment of her aesthetic, which explores the tangible and unconscious traces that we leave on the environment. Her films, including the first from her Silueta series, shot at the Yagul archaeological site in 1974, feature interactions – such as Mendieta’s carving, burning and embedding of her silhouette into her Oaxaca surroundings – exploring how time and consciousness can work together to shape the land.

chair with silver beads on
Frida Escobedo, Creek Bench, 2021 ©The Estate of Ana Mendieta Collection, LLC Courtesy Galerie Lelong & Co. Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Architect Frida Escobedo, artists Pia Camil, Solange Pessoa, and Adeline de Monseignat and design studio EWE are the Mexico-based and Latinx creatives who have rethought the themes Mendieta presents in her work. Their installations – which make seating an organic part of the exhibition – are directly inspired by her films and incorporate materials Mendieta favoured, while also considering the viewer’s perspective – from the ground at times, a viewpoint Mendieta often aligned herself with. The spacing of the pieces nods to our new, socially distanced society.

’Elementos Vitales: Ana Mendieta in Oaxaca’ is the first exhibition at new public art space La Clínica (on the site of Oaxaca’s first medical clinic), founded by former director of the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Oaxaca, Ramón Jiménez Cuén. It is the latest show from nomadic gallery Masa, which was established in 2019 by Héctor Esrawe, Age Salajõe, Brian Thoreen, Isaac Bissu and Roberto Diaz. The show draws on Masa’s past exhibitions, which have examined the links between a geographical sense of place, and art and design objects. §

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