This exhibition brings together a vast selection of the work that the artist Damiá Ortega (Mexico City, 1967) has made over the last thirty years, presenting a comprehensive portrait of his artistic production that showcases how his work engages in a dialogue with the construction of a “national culture.”Displayed through a narrative reading that connects corn with the recent peak of globalized industry to reveal the complex issues of the concept of ‘evelopment’ this fable is told through installations and sculptures, alongside photographs, films, and weavings, including rarely exhibited early works, and new pieces.
International ongoing exhibitions
Damiá Ortega: Corn and Industry is the artist’ first retrospective exhibition in the Americas and takes its title from two early works: Pico cansado (Tired Pickaxe) (1997) and Elote clasificado (Classified Corn) (2005). The first is a common pickaxe with a wooden handle to which the artist made careful incisions to bend its shape—nimating the object and making it seem as if it’ tired from a day’ labor. The second piece is a dried ear of corn with handwritten ink marks that account for each of its kernels, perhaps notations to help place the kernels back in their original position if any of them lost their place. These key works—he pickaxe and ear of corn—qually humble in their scale, material, and artistic intervention, are crucial to understand Ortega’ impulses and obsessions.
Considering this perspective in mind, the exhibition is organized into three conceptual blocks –Harvest, Assemble, and Collapse– that hint at the artist’ expansive vision when approaching recurring themes in his work, such as farming, labor, production, and the unknown future of proto-
—Jose Esparza Chong Cuy
Exhibition 29 August 2023 -
© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2023. All Rights Reserved
Installation view, Damián Ortega: Corn & Industry, MARCO, Monterrey, Mexico, 2023.