Cuestion de tiempo

Gina Arizpe

21 Abril de 2018 - 15 Julio de 2018

Curaduría: Michele Fiedler

In 2014, artist Gina Arizpe (Mexico City, 1972) started working on a multidisiplinary project related to cotton farming at Ciudad Juarez, an economy that has survived changes in the economic value of its crop, embargos, mercantile laws, violence, industrialization and the emergence of maquilas, as well as the migration of workers that cross the border to the north. The cotton industry in Juarez started to decay in the 1970s, nonetheless, it’s still one of the city’s top agricultural products. Arizpe’s investigation started in the fields, where she has worked picking cotton with the farmers, and she has developed a body of work composed of video, photography, and sculpture that besides documenting the rural landscape, alludes to the social issues of the border.

Her Façade Project, titled A Matter of Time, stems from her investigation at Ciudad Juarez, and is specifically associated to one element in the deterioration of its social fabric: the feminicides registered there from the early 1990s onwards. That decade, the lifeless bodies of assassinated women started to show up, first in the cotton fields and then throughout the city, evidencing a problem of systemic gender based violence against women.

In A Matter of Time, Arizpe makes a comment on how some of the manual works with which we associate feminine labor have been instrumental in maintaining women silent, a form of dominance that results in the lack of feminine voices in public discourse.En Cuestión de tiempo, Arizpe hace un comentario acerca de cómo algunos de los trabajos manuales de labor femenina han sido parte del instrumento para mantenerlas calladas, una forma de dominio que resulta en la falta de voces femeninas en el discurso público.

The piece consists of an action in which two women take turns spinning a mass of raw cotton picked up by Arizpe in Juarez; the thread produced throughout the months of the exhibition will be woven behind the glass windows of Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros. As the weaving thickens, the women and their labor will become less visible, in a gesture that alludes to silencing and gendered-based violence that subsist in this country.

Machismo and the objectification of women are recurring themes in Arizpe’s work, who from her earliest works in the nineties when, in Monterrey, she formed the collective marcelaygina, in collaboration with artist Marcela Quiroga. The two artists developed a performance based practice in which they constantly questioned behaviors and beauty standards tied to the concept of femininity, as well as the roles given to women by society. In her individual work, the violence towards the body which occurs at the norther border of the country, became the central focus of her investigation.

El machismo y la objetivación de la mujer son temas recurrentes en el trabajo de Arizpe, quien al comienzo de su práctica en los años noventa, formó parte del colectivo marcelaygina en Monterrey; junto a Marcela Quiroga, desarrolló una práctica mayormente de performance, en la que cuestionaron constantemente los estándares de belleza y comportamientos atados al concepto de la feminidad, así como los roles sociales y laborales de las mujeres. Luego, en su trabajo individual, la violencia al cuerpo en la frontera norte del país, se convirtió en eje central de su investigación.

Michele Fiedler