Fermín Jiménez Landa: El Nadador
May 2 – August 2, 2015
MAZ: El Museo de Arte Zapopan
20 de Noviembre, Zapopan, 45100 Zapopan, Jal., Mexico
The movie poster for the 1968 Burt Lancaster film The Swimmer features a portrait of the star’s face dissolving into a swimming pool wake, and asks in that Vaseline-around-the-edges-soft-focus-dated-movie-poster-way, “When you talk about ‘The Swimmer’ will you talk about yourself?”
Drawing inspiration from the film, artist Fermín Jiménez Landa’s exhibition at El Museo de Arte Zapopan (MAZ) of the same name, El Nadador—The Swimmer, appropriates the film’s use of swimming pools as social vignettes to explore themes of private space, vulnerability, and the value of “wasting time”. In the film, we discover that Ned Merrill, the title swimmer, has some kind of self-imposed-amnesia and is unable to recall the last two years of his life. Willfully clueless and naturally vapid, he has no voice of his own outside expressing his desire to swim (and drink) his way home, pool by pool, relying on the hospitality of friends. Like an affable mashup between Ryan Lochte and Patrick Bateman on Xanax, he crashes party after party—his anecdotal interactions revealing the social dynamics of the late 1960s upper-class as well as clues about his forgotten identity.
Ojo en rotación: Sarah Minter, imágenes en movimiento 1981-2015
March 14 – August 2, 2015
Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City, DF
Spinning (2006) is a logical beginning for a survey exhibition of an artist whose practice was galvanized by the 1985 earthquake that devastated Mexico City. Leveling buildings and killing thousands, the quake forced citizens to hodge-podge makeshift systems for survival when the government failed to rescue the shaken metropolis. Spinning first takes stock of what still stands in the city’s view, and then whirls it into oblivion.
Exhibited in the hallway of the brutal-ish glass and concrete MUAC, Spinning is a series of seven screens displaying the shifting view of the urban sprawl of Mexico City from the world’s largest rotating restaurant set curiously askew atop the World Trade Center: an anachronistic symbol of folly in Mexico City’s checkered history of urban development. Moving across the screens, left to right, the speed of the rotation increases until the last screen is practically indecipherable, a blur of urban grey peppered with occasional visual thwaps of the restaurant’s support beams interjecting the view. Then the sliding glass doors yawn open and the viewer trips dizzily into what looks like some kind of vidéothèque cemetery, MUAC’s survey exhibition of the work of video art pioneer Sarah Minter.