Not Me: Subject to Change. CIFO 2012 Grants & Commissions Program Exhibition is the 9th edition of the foundation’s flagship program supporting emerging and mid-career contemporary artists from Latin America. It features newly commissioned works by Eduardo Abaroa (Mexico), Francisca Aninat (Chile), Julieta Aranda (Mexico, Germany, USA), Tamar Guimarães (Brazil, Germany), Glexis Novoa (Cuba, USA), Daniela Ortiz (Peru, Spain), Marta María Perez Bravo (Cuba, Mexico) and Marisa Rubio (Argentina). The sculptures, installations, drawings, performances and videos included in this exhibition all reference the body in a range of ways: from the subtle to the overt, signaled to commanding, violent to intangible. Together they are a series of gestures that connote the body as a reflective, reactive and affected entity.
The title of the exhibition refers to Donald Winnicott’s psychoanalytic theory of the first “not me possession:” a transitional object that moves the child into his or her first understanding of their body as an independent entity. This shift into self-awareness takes the child from the illusion of supremacy (commanding the fulfillment of its essential needs at will) into a world of shared experiences filled with the successes and disillusions of its quest for dominance over his or her objects of desire. This transitional object—space or experience—in Winnicott terms, paves the way for understanding the intermediacy and distance between inner and outer experiences. In the case of the works included in this exhibition, however, the title also reflects the way in which artists use the body—or embodiment—to navigate through an increasingly complex contemporary existence: one replete with rapidly changing conditions, boundaries, borders and timelines.
Perhaps it is in this sense of navigation that we find Winnicott’s theory an apt departure point when discussing how these works interrelate. The exhibition oscillates between works that react to the more physical characteristics and demands of the body as a way to explore the evolution of technology and the creation of an idealized spectator—as in the work of Eduardo Abaroa and Glexis Novoa—to installations like those by Marta María Perez Bravo and Julieta Aranda that play with intangibility and transience in vignettes about states of change. The body in Not Me: Subject to Change then takes on a more staged presence: from the voice commanding silence on set by Tamar Guimarães to Marisa Rubio’s unfolding of her invented personalities and their navigation through the real world. The politicized body is at the epicenter of the works created by Francisca Aninat and Daniela Ortiz whose approaches—one of reconciliation and the other of disclosure—bring forth and highlight political realities past and present.
Not Me: Subject to Change is the result of a yearlong process in which the artists are nominated by CIFO’s Honorary Advisory Committee of leading art professionals to create a new work that will be exhibited at the CIFO Art Space and continues on to form part of the Foundation’s collection. The award recipients are selected based on the investigative nature of the work proposed and on the relevance of its content within the context of contemporary art. Every year, CIFO invites the artists to Miami to install their artwork, participate in public programs and interact with the other recipients of the program. In contrast to previous cycles, these commissions have been awarded to an increased number of Latin American artists living outside of their countries of origin. For the foundation this shift, though subtle, presents a more global perspective on the cultural contributions of artists from Latin America.