Steve Turner Contemporary is pleased to present Whispering, a solo exhibition by Mexico City-based artist Antonio Vega Macotela. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition in the United States. It will feature three works that resulted from the artist’s practice of creating interventions in the public sphere, all of which relate to the volatile situation in Mexico stemming from narcotics trafficking.
Murmurs is a project that utilizes a communication code that the artist learned from an imprisoned Mexican drug trafficker. The code is an anamorphic writing system that allows messages to be read only from specific vantage points. Using the code, Macotela inserted a series of advertisements in El sol de Mexico, a national Mexican newspaper, and each ad contained a different phrase. The installation will consist of the actual newspapers pinned to the gallery walls. To discern the phrases, viewers will have to position themselves on their knees with their chests and chins pressed against the wall while looking up. Only in this position of prayer, or imminent execution, can a viewer decode the phrase.
In The Scout, the artist placed seven advertisements in El Sol de Mexico, each showing a close-up view of a snarling wolf. Over the course of the series, the wolf’s snout gradually closed, and by coincidence, on the day of the final insertion, when the snout was closed, there was a story on same page that described the suspicious death of the Interior Minister of Mexico.
The artist will also present A Platoon, a silent video that recorded the dreams of twelve Mexican soldiers. Because they feared for themselves, the soldiers would not relate their dreams audibly. Instead, they silently mouthed the descriptions of their dreams and only images of their mouths were recorded.
Born in 1980 in Mexico City, Antonio Vega Macotela studied at National School of Fine Arts, Mexico City (2004); Multimedia Seminary, Mexico City (2008) and at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Ámsterdam (2011). He has received grants from the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation and the Mexican National Fund for Culture and Arts. He has had solo exhibitions at Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros, Mexico City (2008) and Casa Vecina, Mexico City (2009). His work has been included in the 29th São Paulo Biennial, (2010) and will soon be included in The Generational at The New Museum, New York (2012). He lives and works in Mexico City and Amsterdam.