Past Exhibition

Memoria Ciega de Mauricio Limón de León

From October 21, 2023 to April 14, 2024
Mauricio Limón de León
Víctor Palacios
7-9 South
From October 21, 2023 to April 14, 2024

“the question of Europe is a world question… We can have a common history but does not mean that we have a shared memory”. Achille Mbembe. Memory and Restitution.

“She laughs to germinate and for the morning to germinate. Laughing is a way to be born. If I could laugh like her without knowing why…”. Octavio Paz, Laughter and Penitence.

Satire is effective as long as it generates a space, a complex psychic and corporal moment in which reflection and laughter become one and the same phenomenon, a single instinctive, cathartic and representative outburst of the human condition. Laughter defines us and separates us from the rest of the species, tragedy and exaltation of the intellect… even if the hyena is now rolling with laughter. “What are you laughing at?”, question, fundamental doubt, cornerstone of interaction.

The present exhibition by Mauricio Limón de León (Mexico City, 1979) brings together a heterogeneous body of works around the aesthetic and discursive possibilities of satirizing various core areas of the contemporary artistic, cognitive, psychic, socio-political and humorous evolution. Through different media such as sculpture, graphics, performance, video and painting, his works put in check a range of paradigms on the construction of identity, the so-called “white supremacy” and ethnography, the hegemonic postcolonial theories and the loopholes that still prevail to generate a critique and self-criticism of artistic work, collecting, theoretical-curatorial babbling and altruistic cultural institutions such as this one where we are. The first one to laugh loses, the last one to laugh will laugh better. The hyena dies laughing.

Among this group of works, the presence of the mask stands out as an unbeatable and millenary artifact for concealing identities and the grotesque, mythical, profane or sacred. In this regard, Limón de León interweaves diverse elements from African cultures, Mexican carnivals and Honoré Daumier’s satirical terracotta figures (Célébrités du Juste Milieu) to generate a series of ironic performative actions and question the way these objects are both exhibited and acquired through a global and informal market. The false and the authentic, masked. In addition, the exhibition integrates a series of disconcerting and attractive paintings in which diverse landscapes or hybrid scenarios dialogue with abstract signs that the artist appropriates from the surrealist painter Yves Laloy. Another layer of this intricate mise-en-scène is a group of works that Limón de León has created in collaboration with Wixárika artists Josefina Venegas and Ramón Carrillo with the aim of extending his research into the production of objects using artisanal techniques and highlighting the transmission of knowledge, materials and symbols. Pieces that are located in that polemic interstice between the artistic object, the exotic, the ancestral techniques of utilitarian production and mere commercialization.

In conclusion, the aesthetic and discursive bet of this artist offers multiple layers of interpretation and stratagems or resources aimed at generating a series of critical astonishment or bewilderment about art, politics and culture. Serious matters, no doubt, but not for that reason free of being satirized. Quite the opposite, while you can, laugh like a hyena.