Lo bueno y lo malo
Mexican curator Patrick Charpenel was selected to reopen Roesler Hotel's international partnership program in what will be his first work in Brazil. An art collector and historian, a philosopher known for probing into the paradoxes and ambiguities of contemporary culture, Charpenel is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to independent curating in Latin America. Charpenel directs the prestigious Colección/Fundación Jumex, in Mexico City, one of the private collections which best represent local and global contemporary art.
In the collective show Lo Bueno y Lo Malo, the guest curator will present works by two collectives and 12 artists of different nationalities. Using different media and languages, all of the pieces reflect on the 'sensitive actions' performed in the context of the political and economic hegemonies of globalization.
The show will feature installations, videos, photographs, performance, 16 mm film, and sculptures produced around the world between 1990 and 2011. Through this set of works, Charpenel discusses the cultural, financial, and political practices of neoliberalism. The show also hints at the need to overcome the old dogmas of the production-consumption system so as to reach a new sense of moral commitment. "In this age of technology and constant movement, there is a pressing need for ethical living; men of the new millennium are eager to strengthen moral values as well as to improve the quality of communication," says the curator.
To curate the show, Patrick Charpenel took his inspiration from the work of Cuban-American Félix González Torres (1957-1996) and his positions. The curator emphasizes human empathy and complicity, and makes a reference to the installation Portrait of Ross, presented by González Torres in 1991, when his partner died from HIV virus infection. The interactive piece consisted of a pile of candy placed at a corner of the exhibition venue, weighing exactly the same as the artist's partner. The audience was invited to take the candy and eat it. By consuming small fragments of the work, visitors would share an act of communion of physical and spiritual loss. Similarly, according to the curator, each of the works by the 15 artists in the Roesler Hotel show "touches the spiritual fibers of human nature, prompting a direct connection between beings which relate and communicate with one another."
Born in the city of Guadalajara in 1967, Patrick Charpenel has curated a host of important shows at galleries and institutional venues in Mexico and other countries. His main shows include Acné, at the Museum of Modern Art (Mexico City, 1995), Inter.play, at the Moore Space (Miami, 2003), Edén, with the Colección/Fundación Jumex (2003), Sólo los Personajes Cambian, at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Monterrey (Mexico, 2004) and Franz West, at the Museu Tamayo (Mexico City, 2006). Charpenel is also a writer and an author of critical essays for journals and catalogues.
Most of the artists in Lo Bueno y Lo Malo play a relevant role in contemporary art scene, many internationally renowned and award recipients. Several have featured in shows in Brazil. They represent different generations, but are mostly in the 37-to-51 age bracket. Four were born in the 1960's (Pawel Althamer/Poland; Ana Torfs/Belgium; Roman Ondák/Slovakia; and Cao Guimarães/Brazil). Seven others were born in the 1970's(Fernando Ortega/Mexico; Sharon Hayes/USA; Danh Vo/Vietnam; Alejandro Cesarco/Uruguay; Minerva Cuevas/Mexico; Tim Lee/South Korea; and Kerry Tribe/USA). The only exception is Moyra Davey, born in Toronto, Canada, in 1958. Two art collectives will also participate: the highly active Danish group Superflex, created in 1993, and the Paris-based Claire Fontaine, founded in 2004.