10 February 2018 – 20 May 2018
This exhibition celebrates the poetics of the French playwright Antonin Artaud, his legendary trip to Mexico in 1936, and the influence of his artistic and literary legacy, as well as that of his life, across the entire American continent. Besides presenting historical and archival material, the exhibition will show pieces from artists that, during the last fifty years, have met Artaud’s work and celebrated his enigmatic experience in Mexico and, particularly in the Tarahumara culture. Beyond the chronological specificity that the exhibition's title would see to imply,Artaud 1936 follows a contrary impulse: sets out to eschew the historical boundaries of Artaud's travel through Mexico, in order to give an account of the timelessness of his experience, and to place it in a continuity with the work of several artists who would later rethink it.
Artaud's life and work have been, since his death in 1948, and inexhaustible object for revision and interpretation. His image, dream, and myth impersonate the man, where history can offer but fragments. Artaud 1936 is, in that sense, a radically anachronistic project, underpinned by the voids and paradoxes of Artaud's existence: the lack of documentation of his trip to the Sierra Tarahumara as well of his experience of the rites related to peyote; the paradox of his trip to Mexico, which phyically lasts for nine months but spiritually spreads over 15 years, from the writing of La conquête du Mexique in 1933 to the dance of Tutuguri in Pour en finir avec le jugement de Dieu in 1947. In that way, Artaud’s Mexican dream is fused with the visions of artists whom he saw and loved, those who would emulate his path decades later.
The exhibition will have to stages, each of which will present a complementary selection of works and archival elements, replacing objects, changing their places and encouraging events and encounters. In this way, the same exhibition will be presented in two diferent versions, with related contents. The first phase is named “The Sierra of Things", and the second one, “Invisible Ink”.
*Imagen: Antonin Artaud, Autoportrait, 1947. Fotografía: Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Philippe Migeat.Centre Pompidou – Musée national d’art modern – Centre de création industrielle. © ADAGP, París
Imágenes de sala: Agustín Garza