The Curro Gallery in Guadalajara presents the first solo exhibition of the artist Claudia Peña Salinas in Mexico. Tezcatlocan is the title of an exhibition that showcases a large body of artwork expressing the strenght and the essence of Mexican indigenous idiosincrasy, connecting it to the urgency of contemporaneity through the combinations of specific and minimalist structures and materials.
A narrative result both aesthetic and political and expression of an historical and cultural context characterized by a vibrant symbolic and ritual apparatus. The languages of sculpture, installation, video, painting, besides publications and photography, convey a symbolic world that alludes to the pre-Columbian dimension and finds in the natural fiber one of the privileged materials that allows us to establish a connection with an archaic identitary and biographical world.
The concept of spatiality is at the heart of a deep investigation. The Mesoamerican space finds an epiphanic manifestation in the artist’s installations. However, this is not a common topos, but on the contrary, a space generated by natural elements, a product of harmony translated on an aesthetic and poetic level. A space that through art can be both perceived and thought. The concrete space and the physical space of artwork are made of coordinates of verticality and spatiality, perceptive and symbolic predominant qualities in the artist’s works.
Symbol is a profound link between present and past dimension. The mirror (tezcatl in the Nahuatl language) next to the eye is one of the symbolic hinges from which it is presented a solid and essential syntax. Thanks to its reflecting surface, the mirror is an access to an occult and deep dimension. A symbolic leitmotiv that Claudia connects to the to the earthly paradise of Tlalocan dominated by Tlaloc, god of rain, and Chalchiuhtlicue, goddess of fertility and waterways.
Even when the artist prefers the documentary and multimedia language, this strong connection between modernity and archaic past is strongly evident. Tlachacan (2017) is an example of film which narrates a journey in search of an original monolith. A quite complex research which brings to the surface replicas and multiples found in the national territory and gives to the artist the opportunity to present current and controversial topics such as the current water crisis or the construction of the new mexican airport near the lake Texcoco.
Life itself with its travels in concrete places is a source of inspiration and investigation for the artist. The topographic detail is detached from its strict definition in order to explore unknown territories in which the ambiguity or semantic polyvalence can meet universal experience and knowledge.
The exhibition will be open until March 1, 2019 at the Curro Gallery of Guadalajara (Mexico).
For all images: Claudia Peña Salinas, Tezcatlocan installation view at Galleria Curro, Guadalajara
Giuliana Schiavone. Art critic and curator based in Italy and Mexico dedicated to the communication and teaching of visual arts. Active contributor to national and international art and fashion magazines as well as promotion of contemporary art. Actively working for cultural and exhibition projects. Graduated as Art Historian and Jazz Musician with a Master in Art Curatorship following an interdisciplinary vision of artistic and aesthetic phenomenons.