ARCO Madrid

IFEMA Madrid, 7 - 11 July 2021 

VIGIL GONZALES is pleased to announce its participation in the next edition of the ARCO Madrid fair, presenting an important selection of works by leading Peruvian artists: C.J. Chueca, Natalia Iguiñiz, Musuk Nolte, Fernando Nureña, and Mexican-American photographer Yvonne Venegas. 


Among the selected galleries of the REMITTENT Section, curated by Mariano Mayer, VIGIL GONZALES will be present with Natalia Iguiñiz's iconic work Road Movie (2015). This work puts in colors and images the impossible journey towards the understanding of being a mother. Iguiñiz's work is an attempt to deconstruct the patriarchal categorizations that have long defined the role of women and their role in society. 


In parallel, we will be presenting an exhibition project in the ARCO E-XHIBITIONS. PERU: Processes (of) national construction, which shows the struggle and work that emerge from the expressions in the works presented by Chueca, Iguiñiz, Nolte, and Nureña. The selection shows a political work that registers a post internal armed conflict society towards a reconstruction of Peruvian identity and reconciliation. Going through the Fujimorist dictatorship and other social phenomena that took place, a difficult welcome to the millennium and later to the bicentennial (which according to the official narrative begins to be commemorated this year) is where we ask ourselves the question: on what concept of homeland do we choose to build? 


Through an exhaustive visual exploration in the Ande of Peru, we see through the series Chunniqwasi (Iguiñiz, 2001-2003) the ruin and through it the beginning of a process of reconstruction (or desire for) after more than a decade of internal armed conflict. The project is accompanied by a selection of texts by Peruvian intellectuals Victor Vich, Rocío Silva Santisteban, and Jorge Villacorta. 


The series DECIERTO (2011) by Peruvian photographer Musuk Nolte, through the Peruvian flag and performance, invites us to question the value of inherited patriotic symbols, 200 years after our independence and in the midst of a convulsive political scenario. Nolte's work introduces us to the reflection on decolonization in process with a performative action between the poetic and the documentary that consists of placing a Peruvian flag upside down, but not only as in the war when one declares his surrender but retaking the idea of the pre-Columbian burial and with it millenary customs within the Peruvian DNA. 


After the years of dictatorship and conflict, the processes of memory and reparation have been framed through institutions such as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, as well as individually. This process is shown in the series El idioma de los huesos (Nolte, 2008-2020), and likewise in the photographs of the series No hay mañana sin ayer and una serie de cosas (Nureña, 2016, 2018). In them, the focus is on places that evoke events of political acrimony that occurred during the 1980s and 1990s. 


In both series, Nureña approaches his gaze to these places in the present, revisiting spaces about which memory is diffuse, in order to construct an idea of a country that dissociates itself from its history.


Peruvian artist C.J. Chueca, based in New York, presents works based on ongoing research on the resurgence of a new popular iconography centered on Micaela Bastidas, hero of Spanish-American independence and symbol of the struggle against colonial oppression and exploitation. Micaela's role in Peru's recent history has been of vital importance in accompanying as the face of social struggles from the military government of Velasco Alvarado (1968-75) to the latest marches last November. 


The factor that unites the names of the group of artists summoned - beyond a transcendence in the potential of their work not only in the aesthetic but in the political field and social action - is found in the possibilities and dimensions of the body and its leading role in social history. This performative act is reiterated as a reflection and atonement of existence, revealing the transforming power of art.


Likewise, we are pleased to present, for the first time, the emblematic series San Pedro Garza García (2013-2017) by Mexican photographer Yvonne Venegas (Long Beach, 1970). Venegas' interest in portraying San Pedro Garza García begins with a dream in which she meets Bourdieu, and they share a fascination for observing people through the peculiar setting of the city's elite. 


The history of San Pedro Garza Garcia is equally fascinating, although founded in 1882, it was only in the middle of the last century that it became one of the most important cities in Monterrey. With a population of 150,000 people, it occupies the highest positions in the rankings of wealth and development in all of Latin America. Venegas was intrigued by the character of its society, which from the beginning looked beyond the harshness of the scorching climate and the horizon traced by the Sierra Madre Oriental to create its own possibilities.


After the Mexican Revolution, Monterrey, which is not far from Texas, strived to become one of the most important industrial cities in the country, always finding ways to take advantage of its proximity to the U.S. border. In 1978 its economic weight was such that Mexican President Jose Lopez Portillo asked the city's businessmen to take on dollar debt to help the Mexican economy. Today, the fortunes of San Pedro Garza García’s families can be measured in billions of dollars. 


San Pedro Garza Garcia is a photographic survey of a society cloistered in comfort and on the fringes of the problems that beset one of Latin America's greatest nations.