In Utopista / quiauitl, Minerva Cuevas presents a collection of posters created over the past two decades for her presentation at Siembra 18, assembled together for the first time. Posters and murals, as mediums, have been fundamental means in her artistic and political practice throughout her career. Siembra 18 materializes a series of 22 serigraphs, graphics globally produced for various social contexts, that visually guide the observer through the investigations and constant concerns in her work. These include concepts of contemporary colonial relations, exploitation, nationalism, social ecology, militarism, and equality.
For these works Cuevas uses the language of advertising, the poster, to generate messages based in the potency of symbols and slogans. These in turn evoke meanings and trigger questions. The pieces engage with visual and verbal elements that explicitly refer to logos, popular references, or use an advertising format to generate a graphic camouflage. Cuevas alters, combines, and substitutes these elements to re-signify them as playful invitations to subversion that implicitly express the possibility of rebellion in daily life.
Cuevas is interested in printed material as it relates to its surrounding environment. In the artist's words, “a poster is the thin surface that supports the weight of an intention, it is that minimal support loaded with history and context that is in turn an access point to memory and to our personal visual archive”. She reflects on the agency of the image and its ability to read us and reconfigure our comprehension processes. The image, says the artist, “is anchored in our codes and desires. She knows us even before we finish seeing her."
The posters that make up this exhibition were produced for different purposes under a diverse range of circumstances. Some were conceived to be displayed and distributed in exhibition spaces others in the street. They’ve been used in demonstrations that take place in public spaces; some have never been viewed by the public until now. All are loaded with the utopian intention central to Cuevas’ work that reflects her search for means to construct new realities grounded in collective resistance.