Above: Federico Gama, Escondido, from the series Top Models mazahuacholoskatopunk, 2008.
We are pleased to present #BetweenDownBelow/#EntreAbajoMasAbajo, a year of exhibitions and related programs that highlights Latin-American and Latinx artists and their work surrounding themes of communication, individual agency, collective action, and social spaces generated by alternative art practices. This programming has emerged from research conducted for Below the Underground: Renegade Art and Action in 1990s Mexico/Más abajo que el underground: Arte renegado y acción en el México de los noventa, a forthcoming exhibition that is part of the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time LA/LA initiative.
Programs throughout 2017 will feature cohesive and international programming culminating in the presentation of Below the Underground: Renegade Art and Action in 1990s Mexico in the fall of 2017. Diverse programming includes exhibitions, performances, readings, screenings, a publication, and an interactive digital archive, which collectively will explore the possibilities and difficulties of translation, reflections on Mexico in the NAFTA era, and social spaces generated by alternative art practices, #BetweenDownBelow is directed by Irene Tsatsos, the Armory’s Director of Exhibition Programs/Chief Curator.
The programs in #BetweenDownBelow are being produced with support from the Getty, the National Endowment for the Arts, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the California Arts Council, and Jumex.
• View Press Kit
• #BetweenDownBelow, #EntreAbajoMasAbajo
• The Pacific Standard Time Initiative Seeks to Rescue Fugitive Art (New York Times)
• Saltan el muro artistas latinos (Reforma)
The first exhibition in our series is titled Between Words and Silence: The Work of Translation/Entre palabras y silencio: La tarea de la traducción and will run January 29 through April 2, 2017 in the Caldwell Gallery at the Armory. It will address the inherent impossibility of understanding the other, the necessity of our efforts to try, an acceptance of these limitations, and the possibilities that emerge. The exhibition features work by Antena, Daniel Guzmán and Luis Felipe Ortega, Federico Gama, Jota Izquierdo, Lorena Mal, Sarah Minter, Naotaka Hiro and Sid M. Dueñas, Gala Porras-Kim, and Clarissa Tossin. The artists in this exhibition are from the US, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Saipan, and Japan, and currently reside in Los Angeles or Mexico. This exhibition is organized by Irene Tsatsos with Daniela Lieja, contributing curator, and produced with support from the National Endowment for the Arts and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
A display of posters from Imágenes en Voz Alta, along with ongoing screenings of historic Mexican cinema, will run January 29 through April 2, 2017 in the Armory’s Mezzanine Galleries. Imágenes en Voz Alta is a not-for-profit, web-based, citizen initiative founded in Mexico City that is unsponsored and without political affiliation. Its objective is to promote freedom of expression, condemn censorship and violence, and generate a graphic memory of ongoing events throughout Mexico. It is a bank of royalty-free images that have been donated by both Mexican and international designers, illustrators, photographers, and artists. Funding for this exhibition is provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
Opening May 7, 2017 through September 17, 2017 in the Caldwell Gallery, Down and to the Left: Reflections on Mexico in the NAFTA Era/Abajo y a la izquierda: Reflexiones sobre México en la era del TLC will depict the socioeconomic and political climate and contradictions, including vast discrepancies in wealth and social status, actions of political protest and social unrest, emergent youth cultures, and the coded coexistence of indigenismo traditions and nascent 21st century street culture. The exhibition includes artists and collectives: Yollotl Alvarado, Nao Bustamante, Rafael Doniz, Sarah Minter, Daniela Rossell, Javier Téllez, Antonio Turok, Pedro Valtierra, and others. This exhibition is organized by Irene Tsatsos with Daniela Lieja, contributing curator, and produced with support from the National Endowment for the Arts and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
The year culminates with Below the Underground: Renegade Art and Action in 1990s Mexico/Más abajo que el underground: Arte renegado y acción en el México de los noventa, an exhibition in the Armory’s Caldwell and Mezzanine Galleries that will run from October 15, 2017 through January 21, 2018. Below the Underground has been developed with the support of the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA initiative and, in addition to the exhibition, includes a bi-lingual publication and open-access digital archive/blog -- elements that together focus on under-examined aesthetic and political practices in Mexico in the 1990s. The project looks at social spaces created by alternative art practices, beyond the now-familiar independents toward diverse artist initiatives – from newly acquired brick and mortar spaces, to ad hoc street performances and interventions, living room galleries, clubs, collaboratively produced ‘zines, archives and collections, pirate radio programs, and more. The project also references pronounced divisions of class and race, with art objects themselves the tangible outcomes of many different conditions of creating, living, and experimenting within the same place. A team of curators, writers, and historians have contributed to Below the Underground, under the guidance of Irene Tsatsos, Project Director. Lorena Wolffer, Sol Henaro, and Alexis Salas, are Curatorial Advisors; Daniela Lieja Quintanar, Michele Fiedler, and Lorena Pena are Contributing Curatorial Advisors; and Roberto Tejada, Amy Sara Carroll, Suzy Halajian, and Selene Preciado are contributing texts to the publication. A list of artists will be released later.
Throughout the spring of 2017, Mexico City and San Francisco-based designer Giacomo Castagnola will be in residence, developing a project entitled Common Trades, Urban Metabolism. His residency will focus on a study of the “common trades” of those working in the Boyle Heights section of Los Angeles, a well-established Latino neighborhood that has become a hotly contested destination for real estate speculation and gentrification. Castagnola aims to shed light on workers who are historically marginalized despite making significant contributions to local culture and the local economy. The residency will culminate in an exhibition in the Armory’s Mezzanine Galleries from May 7, 2017 through September 17, 2017. Support for this residency comes from the California Arts Council and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
The bi-lingual publication for Below the Underground, will be released in October, reflects over two years of research, and has the characteristics of dialogue and exchange. It is the axis of the research and the exhibition; original essays provide nuanced knowledge of the history of contemporary art alternative spaces and practices, art history, and contemporary politics. Texts and interviews by the following authors/historians/artists will appear in English and Spanish: Amy Sara Carroll, Lorena Wolffer, Sol Henaro, Alexis Salas, Michele Fiedler, Lorena Peña, Roberto Tejada, Sylvia Pandolfini, Hortensia Ramírez, Moníca Mayer, and more. The book is being designed by Ella, a graphic design studio based in Los Angeles founded by partners Dante Carlos, River Jukes-Hudson, and Stephen Serrato, specializing in work for art, architecture, education, and culture. The publication is being produced with support from the Getty and Jumex.
On-line, Interactive, Digital Archive
This resource will allow public access to information that will extend and link to the exhibitions and catalogue. It will contain information, news, documentation, program promotion, and live stream activities, connect with other media, and provide an alternative space for dialogue. Through this portal we will invite contributions from different parts of the world, particularly Mexico. The portal will allow visitors, students, colleagues, researchers, and others to explore, participate, and circulate the research of Below the Underground, a project that has given priority to dialogue. It will be an open space for conversation.