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Biography

minerva_cuevas_egalite_2004.j

minerva cuevas

1975, Ciudad de México

Through the intervention of images and objects of daily consumption, Minerva Cuevas invites us to rethink the role corporations play in food production and the management of natural resources. Employing irony and humor, her work seeks to provoke reflection about the impact that local actions can have on the enforcement of fair labor practices and the redistribution of monetary flow. Cuevas’ practice encompasses a wide range of media, including painting, video, sculpture, photography and installation, through which she investigates the politics and power structures that underlie specific social and economic ties. Her interdisciplinary projects combine aspects of anthropology, product design and economics to explore different ways of intervening urban spaces, museums and galleries. Whilst appropriating the language of the establishment (branding, advertisement and commerce) the artist delivers a message of non-compliance and resistance. A relentless critic of reality, Cuevas discovers her source material through analyzing the notions of value, exchange and ownership that rule a capitalist economy - as well as their consequences. Her work serves as a tool to discuss the condition of the individual under a capitalist regime: constant abuse, dispossession and estrangement from ancestral and cultural identity, but also the latent possibility of revolt implicit in the everyday.

Minerva Cuevas studied BA in Visual Arts at Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas in Mexico City. In 2004, she was recipient of the Grant for Media Art of the Foundation of Lower Saxony at the Edith-Russ-Haus. She was artist in residence at the Berliner Künstlerprogramm en Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) in 2003 and Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, in 1998.

Minerva Cuevas lives and works in Mexico City

Selected Works

Selected Works Thumbnails

not impressed by civilization, 2005

acrylic on wall mural, and a color video transferred to dvd

78.74 x 157.48 in. 

13 min 20 sec

from serie hidrocarburos, 2007

objects covered in chapopote (eight model figures, diving helmet, mobile telephone, hemp reel, wooden stick, two plastic figures, stone, ceramic figure, pump)

variable dimensions

detail

 

 

from serie hidrocarburos, 2007

research documentation, magnifying glasses, four asphalt fragments, two chapopote fragments with sea incrustations, one fragment of concrete, objects covered in chapopote, seven pieces of solid chapopote, solidified driping of chapopote

table: 32.28 x 78.74 x 78.74 in.

detail

 

 

serie hidrocarburos, 2007

four piled oil tanks, dvd projection, vintage didactic poster covered in chapopote, three oil containers covered in chapopote, six pieces of street asphalt, and painted wooden stick and research documentation (book, photographs, newspaper and magazine cuttings), magnifying glasses, asphalt pieces, glass container, wooden stick and objects covered in chapopote on wooden table

variable dimensions

installation view of minerva cuevas, museo de la ciudad de méxico, 2012

 

 

 

seascape (de la serie de hidrocarburos), 2012

oil on compressed wood board covered in chapopote

40.16 x 36.42 in.

installation view of minerva cuevas, museo de la ciudad de méxico, 2012

overseas, 2015

oil on compressed wood board dipped in chapopote

20.47 x 19.29 x .98 in.

horizon II, 2016

oil on canvas dipped in chapopote

21.65 x 27.95 x 1.97 in.

dodgem, 2002
documentation of a public intervention where the artists placed labels of oil companies on the go-cars at a children's fair in mexico city

 

dodgem, 2002
documentation of a public intervention where the artists placed labels of oil companies on the go-cars at a children's fair in mexico city

dodgem, 2002
documentation of a public intervention where the artists placed labels of oil companies on the go-cars at a children's fair in mexico city

 

del montte, 2003
acrylic paint, research plan printed on paper, 100 re-labeled tomato cans
installation view at museo de la ciudad de méxico, mexico city, 2012

 

 

del montte - la boite de l'imperialisme, 2004
acrylic paint on wall and 120 relabeled red tomato sauce cans
157.48 x 110.24 in 
installation view at casa del lago juan josé arreola-unam, mexico city, 2006

 

 

 

america, 2006

acrylic paint on wall

57.48 x 118.11 x 5.51 in.

installation view of mexico inside out: themes in art since 1990, modern art museum of forth worth, texas, 2014

égalité, 2004
acrylic paint on wall
157.48 x 102.36 in.

 

 

égalité, 2004

acrylic paint on wall, 1,080 water bottles with altered label
variable dimensions

detail

égalité, 2004

acrylic paint on wall, 1,080 water bottles with altered label
variable dimensions

detail

donald mcronald (mexico), 2006

two channel video transferred to dvd, documentation and costume

video: left: 15 min 57 sec. right: 12 min 49 sec
installation view of minerva cuevas, museo de la ciudad de méxico, 2012

 

donald mcronald (paris), 2006
single channel color video transferred to dvd
10 min 23 sec

 

 

bioprospection (national state), 2003

acrylic paint on wall (or canvas), table with a salad fruit

57.48 x 62.6 in.

feast, 2015

metallic table, plastic bones, various objects

43.31 x 94.49 x 57.09 in. aprox.

installation view of feast and famine: minerva cuevas, kurimanzutto, mexico city, 2015

 

bitter sweet - hershey's, 2015

acrylic on canvas

159.84 x 85.04 in.

to rebel, 2015

toblerone cardboard case

4.72 x 30.91 x 4.72 in. 

habana, 2000 

photograph documentation of poster

20 x 33 in.

habana, 2000 

photograph documentation of poster

20 x 33 in.

fine lands, 2018

acrylic paint on wall

variable dimensions

installation view of fine lands, dallas museum of art, texas, 2018

fine lands, 2018

acrylic paint on wall

variable dimensions

installation view of fine lands, dallas museum of art, texas, 2018

fine lands, 2018

acrylic paint on wall

variable dimensions

installation view of fine lands, dallas museum of art, texas, 2018

terra primitiva, 2006

acrylic on wall, halogen lamp

590.55 in. long

installation view at the 27th sao paulo biennial: how to live together, 2006

terra primitiva, 2006

acrylic on wall, halogen lamp

590.55 in. long

installation view at the 27th sao paulo biennial: how to live together, 2006

terra primitiva, 2006

acrylic on wall, halogen lamp

590.55 in. long

installation view at the 27th sao paulo biennial: how to live together, 2006

crossing the río bravo, 2010

documentation of the action at the río bravo

crossing the río bravo, 2010

documentation of the action at the río bravo

crossing the río bravo, 2010

action, string, lime, water, brush, metallic bucket, historical documents, postcards, map, petrified wood, petrified dinosaur bone, tire piece, pavement paint, rocks, compass, flowers

variable dimensions

installation view of resisting the present, musée d'art moderne de la ville de paris, 2012

like me, 2007

magic lantern projection, magic lantern and glass slide circa 1900 lit with fiber optic

magic lantern: 15.35 x 11.42 x 28.35 in. 

landings, 2008

16 mm. film

14 min

installation view of minerva cuevas, museo de la ciudad de méxico, 2012

from the series heaven in a rage, 2012

acrylic on plywood

installation view of love is colder than capital, kunsthaus bregenz, 2013

social entomology, 2006-2007

5 microscope projectors with specimen slides, 6 tables with research material, magic lantern slides, postcards, publications, vintage insecticide spray pumps, magnifying glass, microscope and insects.

variable dimensions

installation view of minerva cuevas, van abbemuseum, eindhoven, the netherlands, 2008

social entomology, 2006-2007

5 microscope projectors with specimen slides, 6 tables with research material, magic lantern slides, postcards, publications, vintage insecticide spray pumps, magnifying glass, microscope and insects.

variable dimensions

installation view of minerva cuevas, van abbemuseum, eindhoven, the netherlands, 2008

concierto para lavapiés, 2003

color video transferred to dvd

3 min 20 sec

still image

installation view of no room to play, daad berlin, 2019

weaker lower slower, 2019

painted steel

variable dimensions

zukunft serie, 2019

9 digital photography prints, ink

variable dimensions

overseas, 2006

set of eleven banners

31.5 x 39.37 in. each

installation view of reconstrucción, minerva cuevas, casa del lago juan josé arreola-unam, mexico city, 2007

s.coop (limited edition), 2009

one wooden box, one s.coop coin, twelve black and white photographs, facsimiles, leaflets, postcards and a cd with images of the project

wooden box: 2.17 x 9.57 x 7.09 in.

detail

s·coop (project), 2009

five wooden showcases, ice cream, 200 coins exchanged in the peticoat lane market area, photographs, vintge cooperative tokens, posters, leaflets

installation view at whitechapel gallery, london, 2009

iuf (international understanding foundation) / (stiftung für internationale verständigung), 2016

mixed media. composition of the anthem: viola kramer.

variable dimensions

iuf (international understanding foundation) / (stiftung für internationale verständigung), 2016

mixed media. composition of the anthem: viola kramer.

variable dimensions

detail

societal studies - extinction, 2010

584 "national geographic" magazines, 1 spanish art book, 12 art books, 1 caption label,  metal exhibitor, 2 color photographs,  380 postcards, 1 portfolio with magazine cuttings

variable dimensions

installation view

economy of the imaginary, 2006
5 channel video installation with sound, transferred to dvd, english subtitles
2 min each

 

 

a drought of the blue, 2013

video, color, sound

9 min 48 sec

installation view of disidencia, mishkin gallery, new york, 2019

drunker, 1995

video transferred to dvd

1 hr 5 min

installation view of minerva cuevas, museo de la ciudad de méxico, mexico city, 2012

disidencia v 2.0, 2008-2010

single-channel hdv projection with sound,color

25 min 43 sec

the poor man, the rich man and the mosquito, 2007
dvd
4 min 10 sec
installation view of minerva cuevas, on society, mc kunst gallery, los angeles, 2007

 

 

 

mejor vida corp, 1998-2012

mixed media

variable dimensions

installation view de minerva cuevas, museo de la ciudad de méxico, 2012

mejor vida corp (student card), 1984-2012

mejor vida corp, 1998-2012

mixed media

variable dimensions

installation view, museo rufino tamayo, 2000

how long does it take to get to nato?, 2001

billboard

nuclear winter, 2004

acrylic paint on wall

mural: 98.43 x 118.11 in.

installation view of billboard, norway, 2004

state, 2007
hanging announcement
variable dimensions

 

 

paro general, 2017

impresión en lienzo

720 x 1290 cm

banderas, 2012

reed cart with 144 black & red strike flags 

variable dimensions

the discovery of invisible nature, 2019

acrylic paint on wall

variable dimensions

not impressed by civilization, 2005

acrylic on wall mural, and a color video transferred to dvd

78.74 x 157.48 in. 

13 min 20 sec

from serie hidrocarburos, 2007

objects covered in chapopote (eight model figures, diving helmet, mobile telephone, hemp reel, wooden stick, two plastic figures, stone, ceramic figure, pump)

variable dimensions

detail

 

 

from serie hidrocarburos, 2007

research documentation, magnifying glasses, four asphalt fragments, two chapopote fragments with sea incrustations, one fragment of concrete, objects covered in chapopote, seven pieces of solid chapopote, solidified driping of chapopote

table: 32.28 x 78.74 x 78.74 in.

detail

 

 

serie hidrocarburos, 2007

four piled oil tanks, dvd projection, vintage didactic poster covered in chapopote, three oil containers covered in chapopote, six pieces of street asphalt, and painted wooden stick and research documentation (book, photographs, newspaper and magazine cuttings), magnifying glasses, asphalt pieces, glass container, wooden stick and objects covered in chapopote on wooden table

variable dimensions

installation view of minerva cuevas, museo de la ciudad de méxico, 2012

 

 

 

seascape (de la serie de hidrocarburos), 2012

oil on compressed wood board covered in chapopote

40.16 x 36.42 in.

installation view of minerva cuevas, museo de la ciudad de méxico, 2012

overseas, 2015

oil on compressed wood board dipped in chapopote

20.47 x 19.29 x .98 in.

horizon II, 2016

oil on canvas dipped in chapopote

21.65 x 27.95 x 1.97 in.

dodgem, 2002
documentation of a public intervention where the artists placed labels of oil companies on the go-cars at a children's fair in mexico city

 

dodgem, 2002
documentation of a public intervention where the artists placed labels of oil companies on the go-cars at a children's fair in mexico city

dodgem, 2002
documentation of a public intervention where the artists placed labels of oil companies on the go-cars at a children's fair in mexico city

 

del montte, 2003
acrylic paint, research plan printed on paper, 100 re-labeled tomato cans
installation view at museo de la ciudad de méxico, mexico city, 2012

 

 

del montte - la boite de l'imperialisme, 2004
acrylic paint on wall and 120 relabeled red tomato sauce cans
157.48 x 110.24 in 
installation view at casa del lago juan josé arreola-unam, mexico city, 2006

 

 

 

america, 2006

acrylic paint on wall

57.48 x 118.11 x 5.51 in.

installation view of mexico inside out: themes in art since 1990, modern art museum of forth worth, texas, 2014

égalité, 2004
acrylic paint on wall
157.48 x 102.36 in.

 

 

égalité, 2004

acrylic paint on wall, 1,080 water bottles with altered label
variable dimensions

detail

égalité, 2004

acrylic paint on wall, 1,080 water bottles with altered label
variable dimensions

detail

donald mcronald (mexico), 2006

two channel video transferred to dvd, documentation and costume

video: left: 15 min 57 sec. right: 12 min 49 sec
installation view of minerva cuevas, museo de la ciudad de méxico, 2012

 

donald mcronald (paris), 2006
single channel color video transferred to dvd
10 min 23 sec

 

 

bioprospection (national state), 2003

acrylic paint on wall (or canvas), table with a salad fruit

57.48 x 62.6 in.

feast, 2015

metallic table, plastic bones, various objects

43.31 x 94.49 x 57.09 in. aprox.

installation view of feast and famine: minerva cuevas, kurimanzutto, mexico city, 2015

 

bitter sweet - hershey's, 2015

acrylic on canvas

159.84 x 85.04 in.

to rebel, 2015

toblerone cardboard case

4.72 x 30.91 x 4.72 in. 

habana, 2000 

photograph documentation of poster

20 x 33 in.

habana, 2000 

photograph documentation of poster

20 x 33 in.

fine lands, 2018

acrylic paint on wall

variable dimensions

installation view of fine lands, dallas museum of art, texas, 2018

fine lands, 2018

acrylic paint on wall

variable dimensions

installation view of fine lands, dallas museum of art, texas, 2018

fine lands, 2018

acrylic paint on wall

variable dimensions

installation view of fine lands, dallas museum of art, texas, 2018

terra primitiva, 2006

acrylic on wall, halogen lamp

590.55 in. long

installation view at the 27th sao paulo biennial: how to live together, 2006

terra primitiva, 2006

acrylic on wall, halogen lamp

590.55 in. long

installation view at the 27th sao paulo biennial: how to live together, 2006

terra primitiva, 2006

acrylic on wall, halogen lamp

590.55 in. long

installation view at the 27th sao paulo biennial: how to live together, 2006

crossing the río bravo, 2010

documentation of the action at the río bravo

crossing the río bravo, 2010

documentation of the action at the río bravo

crossing the río bravo, 2010

action, string, lime, water, brush, metallic bucket, historical documents, postcards, map, petrified wood, petrified dinosaur bone, tire piece, pavement paint, rocks, compass, flowers

variable dimensions

installation view of resisting the present, musée d'art moderne de la ville de paris, 2012

like me, 2007

magic lantern projection, magic lantern and glass slide circa 1900 lit with fiber optic

magic lantern: 15.35 x 11.42 x 28.35 in. 

landings, 2008

16 mm. film

14 min

installation view of minerva cuevas, museo de la ciudad de méxico, 2012

from the series heaven in a rage, 2012

acrylic on plywood

installation view of love is colder than capital, kunsthaus bregenz, 2013

social entomology, 2006-2007

5 microscope projectors with specimen slides, 6 tables with research material, magic lantern slides, postcards, publications, vintage insecticide spray pumps, magnifying glass, microscope and insects.

variable dimensions

installation view of minerva cuevas, van abbemuseum, eindhoven, the netherlands, 2008

social entomology, 2006-2007

5 microscope projectors with specimen slides, 6 tables with research material, magic lantern slides, postcards, publications, vintage insecticide spray pumps, magnifying glass, microscope and insects.

variable dimensions

installation view of minerva cuevas, van abbemuseum, eindhoven, the netherlands, 2008

concierto para lavapiés, 2003

color video transferred to dvd

3 min 20 sec

still image

installation view of no room to play, daad berlin, 2019

weaker lower slower, 2019

painted steel

variable dimensions

zukunft serie, 2019

9 digital photography prints, ink

variable dimensions

overseas, 2006

set of eleven banners

31.5 x 39.37 in. each

installation view of reconstrucción, minerva cuevas, casa del lago juan josé arreola-unam, mexico city, 2007

s.coop (limited edition), 2009

one wooden box, one s.coop coin, twelve black and white photographs, facsimiles, leaflets, postcards and a cd with images of the project

wooden box: 2.17 x 9.57 x 7.09 in.

detail

s·coop (project), 2009

five wooden showcases, ice cream, 200 coins exchanged in the peticoat lane market area, photographs, vintge cooperative tokens, posters, leaflets

installation view at whitechapel gallery, london, 2009

iuf (international understanding foundation) / (stiftung für internationale verständigung), 2016

mixed media. composition of the anthem: viola kramer.

variable dimensions

iuf (international understanding foundation) / (stiftung für internationale verständigung), 2016

mixed media. composition of the anthem: viola kramer.

variable dimensions

detail

societal studies - extinction, 2010

584 "national geographic" magazines, 1 spanish art book, 12 art books, 1 caption label,  metal exhibitor, 2 color photographs,  380 postcards, 1 portfolio with magazine cuttings

variable dimensions

installation view

economy of the imaginary, 2006
5 channel video installation with sound, transferred to dvd, english subtitles
2 min each

 

 

a drought of the blue, 2013

video, color, sound

9 min 48 sec

installation view of disidencia, mishkin gallery, new york, 2019

drunker, 1995

video transferred to dvd

1 hr 5 min

installation view of minerva cuevas, museo de la ciudad de méxico, mexico city, 2012

disidencia v 2.0, 2008-2010

single-channel hdv projection with sound,color

25 min 43 sec

the poor man, the rich man and the mosquito, 2007
dvd
4 min 10 sec
installation view of minerva cuevas, on society, mc kunst gallery, los angeles, 2007

 

 

 

mejor vida corp, 1998-2012

mixed media

variable dimensions

installation view de minerva cuevas, museo de la ciudad de méxico, 2012

mejor vida corp (student card), 1984-2012

mejor vida corp, 1998-2012

mixed media

variable dimensions

installation view, museo rufino tamayo, 2000

how long does it take to get to nato?, 2001

billboard

nuclear winter, 2004

acrylic paint on wall

mural: 98.43 x 118.11 in.

installation view of billboard, norway, 2004

state, 2007
hanging announcement
variable dimensions

 

 

paro general, 2017

impresión en lienzo

720 x 1290 cm

banderas, 2012

reed cart with 144 black & red strike flags 

variable dimensions

the discovery of invisible nature, 2019

acrylic paint on wall

variable dimensions

notable solo exhibitions

notable solo exhibitions

Recent selected solo exhibitions include: No Room To Play, DAAD Galerie, Berlin; Disidencia, The Mishkin Gallery, New York (2019); Dissidência (vídeos), Galpao VB, Sao Paulo, Brazil (2018); Minerva Cuevas, DMA Dallas Museum of Art, United States (2017); Minerva Cuevas, Museo de la Ciudad de México, Mexico City (2012); Landings, Cornerhouse, Manchester, United Kingdom (2011); SCOOP, Whitechapel Gallery, London (2010); Minerva Cuevas, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands (2008); Phenomena, Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland (2007); On Society, MC Kunst, Los Angeles (2007); Egalité 2007, Le Grand Café - centre d'art contemporain, Saint-Nazaire, France (2007); Schwarzfahrer Are My Heroes, Daadgalerie, Berlin (2004); Mejor Vida Corp, Museo Tamayo, Mexico City (2000).

selected group exhibitions and biennials

Cuevas has exhibited in numerous international group shows, such as: Soft Power, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMoMA), New York (2019); Down and to the Left: Reflections on Mexico in the NAFTA Era, Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, United States (2017); We call it Ludwig. The Museum is Turning 40! Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany (2017); Unsettled, The Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, United States (2017); Under the Same Sun: Art from Latin America Today, South London Gallery, (2016); Bajo un mismo Sol: Arte de America Latina hoy, Museo Jumex, Mexico City (2015); United States of Latin America, MOCAD Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, United States (2015); Food: dal cucchiaio al mondo, MAXXI Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, Rome (2015); Sportsmanship under surveillance, LACAP - Latin American-Canadian Art Projects, Toronto, Canada (2015); Testigo del siglo, MAZ - Museo de Arte de Zapopan, Mexico (2014); Unsettled Landscapes, SITE Santa Fe, United States (2014); In/Humano, MARCO - Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey, Mexico (2014); Under the Same Sun: Art from Latin America Today, Guggenheim Museum, New York (2014); Utopian Days, Total Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, South Korea (2014); Resisting the Present, Museo Amparo, Puebla, Mexico (2011) and Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris (2012); Elles, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2010); Populism, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (2005); Hardcore, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2003); among others.

She has also participated in the following biennials: Prospect 4, Nueva Orleans (2017); 6th Liverpool Biennial, United Kingdom (2010); 6 Berlin Biennale (2010); 9e Biennale de Lyon, France (2007); 6th Bienal do Mercosul, Porto Alegre, Brazil (2007); 27a Bienal de São Paulo, Brazil (2006); Sharjah Biennial 7, United Arab Emirates (2005); 14th Biennale of Sydney, Australia (2004); 2nd edition of the T.I.C.A.B – Tirana International Contemporary Art Biannual, Albania (2005); 8. İstanbul Bienali (2003), Turkey.

Video