Obliterations (1939-2014)


Fritzia Irizar

January 16 – April 20, 2014

Through her practice, Fritzia Irizar (Culiacán, México, 1977) generates strategies that engage multiple audiences in order to encourage the exchange of symbolic values between the economic, psychological, mythical, as well as all their entwined desires. This exhibition brings together seven pieces created between 2002 and 2012, all related to mechanisms of obstruction, cancellation or missing information in the artistic practice. Through models reconstruc ting the spaces where these actions originally took place, accompanied by documents referring to each work, the selection accounts for a series of situations presented as non-replicable experiences, but as possibilities for analysis.

By contrasting diverse value systems–for example, confronting the value of a regular block of salt with the exchange value it acquires once inserted in the art market–Irizar underlines the fragility of the social agreements that support them. Through a series of allusions to the mechanisms of the art system, some of these works address value imposition processes that an increasingly alienated public consumes by intellectual or mercantile means. The ways of a symbolic network–that which sustains a cultural infrastructure for the consumption of a few–are thus revealed.

Moreover, and in contrast to the latter work, Irizar also uses elements with a seemingly absolute exchange value. For example, a safe-box filled with cash is placed in a public space offering passersby the opportunity to solve a mathematical equation which will reveal the safe’s combination; or else, to take hold of it by force. In one of her most eloquent actions, Irizar collected hair samples from members of the Tarahumara community; these samples were analyzed to determine its carbon content–revealing in turn, the nutritional deficiencies of this indigenous group, historically threatened by marginalization and extreme poverty. Using the resultant carbon, a diamond was later produced through an industrial process that allows the custom making of these gems. The small stone produced condenses both the whims and extravagances of the wealthy classes of capitalist society, as the history of insufficiencies suffered by a culture faced with the constant risk of disappearing.

The confrontation of the different value systems represented in this exhibition, as well as in much of Irizar’s work, propose a critical guide to understanding those elusive forces driving our contemporary existence.

Tatiana Cuevas


Exhibition Credits:

Curated by: Tatiana Cuevas; Exhibition coordinator: Luis Mosquera; Exhibition design: comun.A; Installation: Llamas A Mi; Video editing: José Jasso; Translation: Marcela Quiroz; Thanks to: Maria José Aguirre, Manli Luz, Aleida Pardo and galería talcual.