GINA ARIZPE, KAROLINA BREGUŁA, MUSQUIQUI CHIHYING AND HOU I-TING
Coordination and translation: Valeria Montoya
Production: Todo Woooow
Documentation: Bruno Ruiz
THE EXHIBITION IS MADE WITH THE SUPPORT OF THE MINISTRY OF CULTURE OF TAIWAN.
Citizens in the Shade, Aliens in the Sun brings together artists from different regions whose works are concerned with socio-political sensibilities echoed in their own environments. The exhibition emphasises artists’ explorations of narrative forms to describe marginal matters locally and globally, particularly in relation to issues of resistance, labour, exchange and property.
Presented in two stages, Citizens in the Shade, Aliens in the Sun, includes works by five artists from the Americas, Europe and Asia: Gina Arizpe, Karolina Bregula, Musquiqui Chihying, Hou I-ting and Nicolas Poggi, whose subjects take on transnational relevance.
The title is referenced from a poetic prose written by Raqs Media for supercommunity in 2015. The text conveys a series of doubts on any definition of a fundamental freedom that may mask hidden costs. Departing from these same questions and in response to the current moment of planetary crisis, the exhibition manifests the two or three things we may know about marginalised peoples while acknowledging the inherent distance between their experiences and our own.
The first stage of Citizens in the Shade, Aliens in the Sun is Simulacro [Simulation], a site specific theatrical performance by Nicolas Poggi. The commissioned piece conducts as a demonstration of the artist’s position that ‘there are no limitations in choreography’. Poggi uses his body to interpret reportage images of protests from around the world, deciphered and instructed by others. This experiment in translating images into a performative act of re-signification in which the artist’s thoughts leads a choreography until the body resists as a physical metaphor from those involved in rebellions on the streets.
The second stage of Citizens in the Shade, Aliens in the Sun is Trade, including site-specific installations, photography and video by Gina Arizpe, Karolina Breguła, Musquiqui Chihying and Hou I-ting. Emphasising the economic acts of exchange, Trade draws on parallel notions of labour, property and the transitory impact of value to reveal the distribution of power.
Arizpe and Hou share a concern with modern, governed labour in practices that problematise structural margins in the system of trading.
Hou’s Correction Arts Exhibition Hall considers the relationship between modern imprisonment institutions and high-density production lines. In 2019, the artist commissioned a for-profit workshop in a female prison in Taiwan to manufacture products, drawing an analogy to the free market and the mechanism of penal labour.
Empleo Temporal, Acceso [Temporary Employment, Access] is a social experiment initiated by Arizpe in 2019, commissioning Don Tomás, an unemployed elderly blacksmith, to fabricate metallic stars associated with latent violence in Mexico. Through this equivocal act, the artist challenges the borderline between work, labour, legality and illegality through their relationship of employment.
Chihying’s and Breguła’s works focus on the politics of development and its hidden costs and losses in terms of property and cultural capital.
Exercises in Losing Control is an on-going project by Breguła set in East Asia. Since 2018, the artist has observed mass evictions and demolitions taking a participatory approach to create a multi-faceted narrative that encompasses performance, film, photography and publication. The project reflects the unequal fight and the perception of losing from the resisting protesters.
The Sculpture, an experimental documentary made by Chihying, is an investigation into the recently established collection of African art in the National Museum of China in Beijing. By carefully inspecting these foreign objets d’art, the artist unveils the politics of recognition and material redistribution that are complicated by the present three-way bond among China, Africa, and Europe.
Nicolas Poggi is an artist, playwright and researcher and his practice encompasses choreography, theater and production of scenic projects. He is interested in collaborations in research and creation contexts. Staging is a practice where he congregates a set of aesthetic possibilities to transform and re-signify theatrical performance and dramaturgies.
Poggi studied dance, theater and fine arts at Patagonia University in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He founded Motos Ninja (Mex-Arg) Theater Production Company. His practice has been exhibited at OMNI, New York 2011, Chopo Museum, Mexico, City, Centre Cívic Barceloneta-In collaboration with Garner Salmon Festival, Barcelona, Spain. In 2019 his work was included at Venice Biennale, Edinburgh Festival, and Canal Madrid Theater. He made Un poyo rojo, a play that has been touring in Italy, Spain, USA, Canada, Brasil, Colombia and France. During 2018, Poggi was invited by Vernacular Institute to produce a site-specific commission for the exhibition Narratives of exchange / exchange of narratives in collaboration with artist Mandoka Furuhashi. He was invited to participate in Xavier LeRoy’s exhibition Retrospective in Jumex Museum. Poggi currently lives and works in Mexico and recently is developing audiovisual work to explore the new media.
Gina Arizpe focuses on the search for questioning the physical and social limits to which the body of contemporary societies is subjected. From a socio-political position, her production explores peripheral social contexts.
For more than ten years Arizpe was part of the Collective Marcela y Gina Mexican (1997 - 2008), from where she drew the main artistic strategies that continue to define her work: moving away from the workshop as a platform for work and reflection, exploring diverse social contexts and producing actions. In 2010 she began her solo production.
Arizpe's work has been internationally exhibited both individually and collectively. Among her most recent exhibitions are: At ground level Museum of the City of Querétaro and Nave Generadores, CONARTE, (Mty, Mx); Dissipations LZ46, Freijo Gallery, (Madrid, Es. 2019), "Displacements ”, The Basement, (Vienna, Aus. 2019),“ Cuestion de Tiempo ”, SAPS (CDMX, Mx. 2018),“ Desaparecer ”Schleifmühlgasse 12–14 Contemporary, (Vienna, Aus. 2017),“ Below the Underground: Renegade Art and Action in 1990's Mexico ”. Armory Center of the Arts, (Pasadena, Ca. E. U. A. 2017), “Tramas de revelación”, Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil (CDMX, Mx. 2015). Gina Arizpe lives and works between Mexico City and Monterrey.
Karolina Breguła creates films, photographs, installations and performances. Her work explores the problems of the status of the artwork and the materiality of art objects. She critically scrutinises contemporary art and its reception and creates stories about art and architecture, which are a field of anthropological and sociological observations. She is interested in the connection between art and reality – the favourable and detrimental effect of artists’ work, the remedial and destructive force of artistic activity, rituals connected to art and art's social role. Many of her works are co-created with their protagonists and participants, blurring the border lines between professional and amateur artistic activity.
Breguła’s works have been exhibited at institutions such as the National Museum in Warsaw, Jewish Museum in New York and MOCA Taipei, and at international events such as the Venice Art Biennale and Singapore Biennale. She is the winner of second prize in the Views 2013 competition – Deutsche Bank Foundation Award, the third Samsung Art Master 2007 award as well as the 2016 Golden Claw at the Gdynia Film Festival. Her works are included in collections such as the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, Zachęta National Gallery of Art, Wroclaw Contemporary Museum and ING Polish Art Foundation. She is a lecturer at the Academy of Art in Szczecin, and she cooperates with lokal_30. Karolina Breguła lives and works in Warsaw.
Musquiqui Chihying explores the cultural and social identities constructed through the flow and circulation of audiovisual elements in physical and virtual spacetime. Specialising in the use of multimedia such as film and sound, he investigates the human condition and environmental system in the age of global capitalisation and engages in the inquiry of and research on issues of subjectivity in contemporary social culture in the Global South.
Chihying’s work has been exhibited at: Neue Berliner Kunstverein, Germany (2021); Centre Pompidou, France (2020); International Film Festival Rotterdam, The Netherlands (2020); Times Museum, China (2019); 12th OSTRALE Biennial, Germany (2019); 68th Berlinale Forum Expanded, Germany (2018); Para Site, Hong Kong (2018); Taipei Biennial, Taiwan (2016); Arko Art Center, South Korea (2016); Shanghai Biennial, China (2014). He has received the Loop Barcelona Video Art Production Award 2019 from Han Nefkens Foundation in collaboration with the Fundació Joan Miró. He is the founder of the Research Lab of Image and Sound. Besides, he regularly publishes articles in art publications and is also a member of the Taiwanese art group “Fuxinghen Studio”. Chihying lives and works between Berlin and Taipei.
Hou I-ting’s practice weaves together manipulations and conflicts between history and contemporary body in political, economic and social situations, dissolving single narratives and blending different historical times and contemporary notions of space and time. Hou has concentrated on the history of women’s labor in different regions and how the female labor force has been affected by neoliberalism order informed by the global structure of the economy.
Hou has exhibited internationally, including Taipei Biennial2020: You and I Don’t Live on the Same Planet—Moon Salt, Taipei, Taiwan (2020), We Now Stand — In Order to Map the Future, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan (2019); Contemporary Art from Asia, Australia and the Pacific: A Selection of Works From QAGOMA’s Asia Pacific Triennial, Centro Cultural La Moneda, Santiago, Chile (2019); Tejiendo identidades (Weaving Identities): Hou I-Ting Solo Exhibition, PHotoEspaña, Centro de Historias, Zaragoza, Spain (2019); Cold Chain: Hou I-Ting Solo Exhibition, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, Taiwan (2019); 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia (2018); Citation From Craft — Taiwanese Contemporary Textile Art, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan (2017), and Sewing Field, TKG+ Projects, Taipei, Taiwan (2015). Hou I-ting lives and works in Taipei.