Noé Martínez El lenguaje, la lengua y el esclavo congénito
El lenguaje, la lengua y el esclavo congénito
November 8 – December 22, 2018
Opening Reception: Thursday, November 8, 2018 | 6-8 pm
Efrain Lopez Gallery is proud to present the Mexican artist Noé Martínez’s first solo exhibition in the United States, El lenguaje, la lengua y el esclavo congénito. Martínez’s multimedia work resists easy categorization as surely as his title defies correlative translation. Fragments of cut, tanned, and dyed skins, porcelain objects glinting with gold details, and a video installation combine to deliver a poetic denunciation of the atrocious abuses committed against the artist’s ancestors by European invaders over the course of the conquest of Mexico.
Based on stories transmitted over generations from the original inhabitants of the Huasteca region near the Gulf of Mexico, Martínez’s work asserts personal narratives through a transglobal framework. He identifies the sea as a space that contains the history of the forced migration of the Huastec people to the Caribbean Sea, and later, the kidnapping and portage of African populations to New Spain. Pairing the spattered pigments of his gestural abstractions with dyed leather stamped to mimic the designs that once adorned the Huastec’s skins, Martínez conjures both the battering force of sea spray and the literal violence of enslavement. Turbulent waves are the subject of the video Gramática de las ausencía (2018), which overlays the surf with a narrative twice-filtered through the languages of colonizers, taking a history of the conquest of Mexico written in Old Castilian and translated into French. This non- linear story brings together diverse experiences while submitting the sea as a site of collective memory linked to the slave episodes of colonial Mexico. As a descendant of these subjugated peoples, Martínez recognizes in his own experiences the present consequences of past economic systems based on dehumanization. The artist traces the forms of slavery’s contemporary reverberations in racism, social exclusion, and the unquantifiable loss of indigenous identity in Mexico, which Martínez embodies through imaginative acts of recuperation.
Noé Martínez (b. 1986, Michoacán, Mexico) lives and works in Mexico City. Recent solo and group shows include Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo (MUAC); Parque Galería, Mexico City; Fundación Alumnos47, Mexico City, Mexico; Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, Mexico City, Mexico; Museo Universitario del Chopo, Mexico City, Mexico; Museo Amparo, Puebla, Mexico; Palazzo Mora, Venice, Italy; and the Art Center Kunstquartier Bethanien in Berlin, Germany, amongst others. His work was featured in the Bienal de Arte Emergente de Monterrey at the Centro de las Artes de Parque Fundidora, Monterrey (2012). This is his first exhibition at Efrain Lopez Gallery.