Below the Underground: Renegade Art and Action in 1990s Mexico / Más abajo que el underground: Arte renegado y acción en el México de los noventas 

 

Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA
Armory Center for the Arts 
October 14, 2017 through January 28, 2018

Below the Underground: Renegade Art and Action in 1990s Mexico / Más abajo que el underground: Arte renegado y acción en el México de los noventas  is an exhibition at Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena, CA that looks at social spaces and political actions created by alternative art practices, beyond the now-familiar independents toward diverse artist initiatives – from newly acquired brick and mortar spaces, to ad hoc street performances and interventions, living room galleries, clubs, collaboratively produced ‘zines, archives and collections, pirate radio programs, and more. The project references pronounced divisions of class and race, with art objects themselves the tangible outcomes of many different conditions of creating, living, and experimenting within the same place. This open-access digital archive/blog offers ongoing, free, interactive access to content such as interviews, texts, videos, and images generated through the research process. Below the Underground: Renegade Art and Action in Mexico in the 1990s is part of the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA initiative.

Much of what is justifiably recognized as now-historically significant art from Mexico in the 1990s, while often critical of the European/US art historical canon, quickly became embraced by it. This project studies work that was being produced in the “margins,” away from the widening mainstream, often by artists who operated there deliberately, either by choice or by default. “There are thousands of Mexicos inside Mexico,” said artist Lorena Wolffer. To approach some of these, Below the Underground: Renegade Art and Action in Mexico in the 1990s has mined “the alternatives to the alternatives.

Against the received canon of the 1990s, which acknowledges artists and artworks of undeniable relevance and deserved influence, we have chosen to open doors, look on bottom shelves, and find the lesser-known stories and myths of artists and projects that informed a time, places, and diverse artists’ practices – the “radical local” moments that affected daily life and artmaking, and informed the practices of those who have achieved greater recognition. 

 

Project Director:
Irene Tsatsos, 
Director of Exhibition Programs/Chief Curator, Armory

Curatorial Advisors:
Amy Sara Carroll  
Sol Henaro
Alexis Salas
Lorena Wolffer

Contributing Curatorial Advisors:
Daniela Lieja Quintanar
Michele Fiedler
Lorena Peña

Contributors:
Suzy Halajian
Luis G. Hernandez
Selene Preciado
Roberto Tejada