Artist: Juan José Gurrola
Venue: House of Gaga, Los Angeles
Exhibition Title: 1966 – 1989
Date: September 13 – November 16, 2017
Juan José Gurrola, Cinturón Gay Latino (Gay Latino Network), 1984, Footage of the series Nueve murales para ‘El 9’ (Nine Murals for ‘El 9’) filmed at ‘El 9’, Mexico City, Video transfer to DVD, 18 mins 57 secs
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images and video courtesy of House of Gaga, Los Angeles
Our historical exhibition is a survey of major works by Juan José Gurrola (1935-2007), a Mexican stage director, filmmaker, and multidisciplinary artist. Presented as part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, the show gathers paintings, video, photographs, and sculpture focusing on the operation of power structures in Western art history and Mexico’s participation (or marginalization) in its writing.
Dom Art (1966-1967), short for “Domestic Art”, parses the effects of postwar American consumer culture and processes the strategies of Pop art, nouveau réalisme, and Fluxus in a self-aware, sardonic manner. Dom Art features numerous works in diverse media, including a manifesto, photographs, TV vignettes, an absurdist play, props, documentation of “missing” Dom Art work, and hyperbolic magazine features.
Monoblock* (1969-1972), consists of poems, photographs and a bilingual performance featuring an American monobloc engine housed inside an industrial refrigerator. Shortly after the Mexican Revolution, a rumored treaty between the United States and Mexico allowed Mexican companies to manufacture all car parts except for the monobloc, a key component that could only be made in America.
The show features works on canvas from the 1984 exhibition “Ojo al parche” (“Eye to Patch”), in which Gurrola made his own versions of Philip Guston paintings. Just as he assumed different professional roles (in visual art, in theater, in film), Gurrola assumed the roles of different artists, from Diego Rivera to de Chirico, in a shameless, straightforward, and Mexicanized “bad painting” reproduction of their work.
Also included are three films by Gurrola. Robarte el Arte (Steal the Art) (1972) relates Gurrola’s proclaimed theft of an artwork from Documenta 5, combining footage of Kassel’s street life, a vignette of a serial killer who strangles women, the staged theft at the Fridericianum, and the relocation of the artwork to Kassel’s Wilhelmshöhe landscape park. In Porn (c. 1989), Gurrola grunts and babbles unintelligibly while the camera pans over porno magazines and his own drawings on a desk. Cinturón Gay Latino (Gay Latino Network) (1984) documents Gurrola, David Hockney, and others painting nine murals on the walls of El 9, a gay bar in Mexico City.
*Monoblock is presented courtesy of FEMSA Collection