Possessing a penchant for applied arts, craft and design, Mendoza works primarily with glazed ceramics, collage and drawing. Until recently, her iconography has been drawn predominantly from indigenous cultures and Mexican handicraft, which she filters through her own idiosyncratic vision, and thus renders up a deliberately pseudo-anthropological perspective on the evolution of culture.
For her exhibition at kurimanzutto, Mendoza continues in this same mode, expanding it to include a strange and bewitching iconography. The artist has created a series of small, ceramic glazed sculptures whose imagery issues from a number of disparate sources. These range from pre-Hispanic artifacts to former Eastern European depictions of futurism, space travel to German expressionist cinema, as well as continental modernism. Indeed, seemingly the byproduct of some anachronistic crucible, the works almost look like they could have been models for a Soviet science fiction film about space travel in which Martians are actually Pre-Colombian warriors whose angular features are evocative of postwar Brutalism. The name of this impossible film could have been Konstelovat, which is the name of Mendoza’s exhibition. Coming from the Czech verb to constellate, the word is of interest to Mendoza not only because of its descriptive function but also due to the possibility of it being interpreted as a proper noun– as if the Konstelovat were actually a being and these objects were his/her properties. The stuff of a wholly personal and idiosyncratic anthropology, this work is at once classical, in terms of how it is made – glazed ceramic – and utterly contemporary, in so far as such radical cultural hybrids seem most possible in the 21st century. As full of contradiction as they are of unlikely juxtaposition, these sculptures contain and synthesize a series of incongruous spaces and times, dreaming the future of a bygone past as much as they fluidly and subjectively concretize an elusive and fleeting present.
Jimena Mendoza (Mexico, 1979) studied at the Escuela Nacional de Pintura, Escultura y Grabado “la Esmeralda” in Mexico City and later at L’École nationale supérieure des arts décoratifs, in Paris, France; she is currently studying a masters program at the Academy of Art, Architecture and Design of Prague, in the Czech Republic. She has participated in artist residencies in Banff Centre, in Alberta, Canada; Brownstone Foundation, Paris and in the Meetfactory, Prague. She has been a fellow of the Jóvenes Creadores FONCA program (2003, 2011) and she is currently a fellow by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport - Czech Republic and the Fundación Colección Jumex scholarship program. Some of her most recent exhibitions are: Shape of relation, Berlinskej Model, Prague (2015); Between world and fiction, Klubovna, Brno (2015); Tamiz, leve variación de la banda, Biquini Wax, Mexico City (2014); Sakahàn: International Indigenous Art, The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (2013); Hallazgo (In a broken dream), Museo de Arte de Sinaloa (2013); Traces, La Raza Gallery, San Francisco (2013); Comedores de Loto, Casa del Lago, Ciudad de México (2013).
She was an active member at La Galería de Comercio.
Chris Sharp (United States, 1974) is a writer and independent curator based in Mexico City, where he and the Mexican artist Martin Soto Climent run the project space Lulu.
Konstelovat by Jimena Mendoza is the fourth of a series of six exhibitions to be organized by Chris Sharp for kurimanzutto. Taking place over the course of a year, the series will focus exclusively on emerging Mexican or Mexico-based artists. The intention of the project is to train a rigorous eye that sheds light upon some of the most active and challenging actors in the current art scene. kurimanzutto seeks to provide them with a unique platform within the local and international context, welcoming the development of a new generation of artists. Sharp’s selection will run as independent shows parallel to the gallery’s regular programming, maintaining their autonomy while productively resonating with each other.
Tuesday april 12, 7 pm
Chris Sharp, Fabiola Iza y Jimena Mendoza in conversation