For Siembra 9, kurimanzutto presents Sa la na, a yuum, iasis/ laissez faire-laissez passer by the artist collective Biquini Wax (BW/EPS). This multimedia installation is conceived as a parodical allegory of Mexico’s economic liberalization between 1986 and 1996. Here, the anatomy of Keiko —the first superstar killer whale— operates as the vessel of a poetic and objectual scenification that turns its carcass into a museum populated with material urban culture. This digestive environment, fashioned from the remains of the maritime beast, is a powerful economic metaphor of how neoliberal policies intertwine with a Latin American context proper to late capitalism.
A three-level narrative is deployed by the piece. The first level represents Keiko’s life events from 1986 to 1996, during his captivity in Mexican amusement park Reino Aventura. The second level corresponds to Mexico’s political and economic history, during the key years for the establishment of neoliberalism.
Finally, the third level recovers Keiko’s relationship with instances of mass culture that echoed this oceanic —or economic— openness. Together, these registers propose a metaphoric image of Mexico’s captive economic liberalization through the idealization of Willy/Keiko’s freedom, effectively enabling a parody of the “postmodern pastiche” by interrupting the idea of free market utopia and exploring its successive collapse.
The installation, previously presented at the Palais de Tokyo, is constructed with a fiberglass replica of a 7-meterlong orca —similar to Keiko’s real-life size— that contains a series of sculptures made with malleable foamy, representing subsets pertaining to the 10 years that the whale spent in Mexico. Through these objects, time is presented as references to pop culture and television consumption of the period —a medium that transformed Keiko into Willy, an export commodity and ideal of capitalist freedom.
This work includes a two-channel video: in one channel Keiko, interpreted by a mask designed in the snapchat platform as he performs an interview with himself, vocalized in the cetacean language. The second channel shows iconic scenes from Free Willy, the Hollywood movie that launched the killer whale into global stardom.
Through these objects, time is presented as references to pop culture and television consumption of the period —a medium that transformed Keiko into Willy, an export commodity and ideal of capitalist freedom.
Biquini Wax EPS is not a collective, it's not a cooperative, it's not a gallery, it's not an art space, it's not independent, it's not a business, it's not a house, it's not a museum, it's not a beauty salon, it's not a waxing room, it's not a charity casino, it's not an operating room, it's not an archeological site of instant coffee, it's not a Pokémon convention, it's not Chilango, it's not a TV nor a Netflix shareholder. It's not a particle of mole, it's not an Internet café, it's not a 4ever nose, it's not rock in your own language, it's not a social engagement company, it's not a hostel without hot water, it's not an infinite factory, it's not an app for abs, it's not a long nightclub, it's not a cinema on the head of a pin, it's not a post-literate karaoke without a projector, it's not a freelance agency with symbolic accumulation, it's not a jacuzzi in Cuernavaca, it's not a book club in the desert, it's not a public space on your cell, much less an epistemic self-defense music collective. It's not a temple without scriptures, it's not a bohemian night during the day, it's not another stain on the baroque economy from a squinting point of view. But it could very well be any of the previous options, centrifuged in a blender that works thanks to thermal energy produced by a swarm of turtles peddling non-stop.