Mantras for an Insurrection

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Isaac Torres

From February 7 til march 24, 2013

Proyecto Fachada presents at the Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros (SAPS) Mantras for an Insurrection, a work by Mexican artist Isaac Torres, that extrapolates an ideological phrase of the German urban guerrilla: Red Army Faction (RAF, active between 1970-1998), to implicate its content with the local social-artistic context. Torres focuses on the thought of the journalist, revolutionary and FER spokeswoman, Ulrike Meinhof, who in an interview expressed commitment towards militancy as a political strategy, affirming: “If you burn a car, it is a criminal offense; if one burns a hundred cars, it is a political action. If you throw a stone, it is a criminal action; if you throw one hundred stones, it is a political action.” In the struggle against mechanisms of collective oppression, Meinhof stressed the importance of purpose and reach as part of an act of resistance. With a contemporary view, Isaac proposes the redefinition of symbols that defined the thought of the RAF to challenge local strategies while positioning his practice between the tensions that characterize the relationship between art and politics.

Located at the facade of the museum, Mantras for an Insurrection is an installation composed of two videos and a burned car. In one of the videos, an unidentified girl plays with a rock while constantly stating Meinhof´s iconic phrases. It is accompanied by another video that shows a model of a car burning. The contrast of the images enables a cynical interpretation on the intention of the artist. At the same time, Torres´gesture recognizes the idyllic aspects of a social uprising, where the ideological thought becomes a spiritual exercise.

Isaac Torres lives and works in Mexico City. He earned a Master in Urban Planning at the UNAM, and a Bachelor in Social Communication at UAM-Xochimilco. He has received numerous grants among like the Worspswede Künstlerhäuser residency in Germany (2009); the BBVA Bancomer Foundation (2005), Grant Arts and Cultural Project of the Mexican Institute of Youth (2006). He was a fellow of the Young Artists Program of the National Fund for Culture and the Arts (FONCA) twice (2007-2008 / 2010-2011) and was part of the second generation of program-MACG Bancomer Arte Actual 2010-2012. He was selected by the Art Program of the World Bank to be part of the exhibition series The Change at World Bank headquarters in Washington and participated at the Third International Biennial of Young Art in Moscow (2012). Isaac Torres’s work is representative of the new trends in contemporary Mexican art interested in using the strategies of social research, stating the link between art and politics.

Interview with Isaac Torres (spanish)