An account of our trip to Mexico, 12-24 March 2017

The colloquium we took part in at the MUAC (Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo de la Ciudad de México) as well as the repetition of the happening “Para inducir el espíritu de la imagen” by Oscar Masotta were parts of a larger project by the writer, researcher and professor Ana Longoni in which the intellectual itinerary- and figure of Oscar Masotta are the focal points.

In addition to these activities, we visited an open event, where Dora García and curator Gabriel Mestre discussed García’s work, and we visited La Universidad de las Américas Puebla, where Michelangelo Miccolis and Dora García were invited to give talks to the students and faculty members of the Fine Arts Department.

On the evening of March 14th, we were greeted by curator Gabriel Mestre in Casa Bosques, an artist-run bookshop adjacent to the gallery Machete in Mexico City. The audience were given an introduction to García’s work by Gabriel Mestre, after which García presented various projects from her portfolio, and talked about the impending happening at MUAC.

After some days of preparations at MUAC, on March 17th, we travelled to the city of Puebla, where Michelangelo Miccolis and Dora García were invited to give talks at La Universidad de las Américas Puebla. After our group was given a tour around the Fine Arts Department and on campus, Miccolis and García presented their work to students and teachers, and engaged in discussions with the audience, both regarding their respective practices in general, and on Segunda Vez and “Para inducir el espíritu de la imagen” specifically.

On Saturday March 18th , Dora García’s repetition of Masotta’s 1966 happening “To induce the spirit of the image”, where 20 persons guised as lumpenproletariat were paid a sum to stand on stage for an hour and let themselves be watched by an audience, took place at MUAC. In the role of Oscar Masotta, Michelangelo Miccolis, a collaborator of García’s, held a monologue and demonstrated the safety measures (in the form of 12 fire extinguishers) for the audience before starting the happening and exiting the spotlight. After the happening, there was an impromptu debate, where several of the actors, Dora García and Ana Longoni received questions and comments from the audience members and museum staff.

The colloquium “Derivas de un itinerario intelectual. Oscar Masotta: arte, historieta, literatura, psicoanálisis y política” was a full-day event on Tuesday March 21st, and consited of an introductory conference and two panel debates.

The introductory conference was led by Oscar Steimberg, an Argentine semiotician and close friend of Masotta’s, with whom Masotta has carried out a series of initiatives focusing on the comic strip format.

After Steimberg’s lecture, two panel debates took place. In these panels, Masotta’s trajectories were tried, not as watertight compartments, but rather to understand their zones of intervention in a more articulated way, as well as seeing their resonances, interpretations and reverberations. The panels included both psychoanalysts and artists – who either knew Masotta personally or who is currently working on projects that somehow collect his legacy.

The panels included artists Eduardo Costa, Roberto Jacoby, psychoanalysts Manuel Hernández, Carmen Gallano and Gibrán Laurrari, and researchers for Dora García’s project Segunda Vez, Olga Martí and Nora Joung. The conversations were led by MUAC’s chief curator Cuauhtémoc Medina and Ana Longoni.

On April 6th, the exhibition “Oscar Masotta. La teoría como acción” will open at the MUAC. The exhibition will show documentary material combined with works by avant-garde artists from the ’60s by artists like Eduardo Costa, Roberto Jacoby, Alberto Greco and Marta Minujín, as well as work by Dora García.

Oscar Masotta.  La teoría como acción, MUAC

Dora García in conversation with curator Gabriel Mestre, Casa Bosques, Mexico DF

Michelangelo Miccolis giving a talk to the fine arts students at La Universidad de las Américas Puebla (UDLAP)

Dora García presenting her work to the fine arts students at UDLAP, Puebla, Mexico

Miccolis as Masotta demonstrates the safety equipment, as a rehearsal for “Para inducir el espíritu de la imagen”

Actors on stage for “Para inducir el espíritu de la imagen”

Q&A with actors, Dora García and Ana Longoni, after “Para inducir el espíritu de la imagen”, MUAC, Mexico DF, within the project “Oscar Masotta, Theory as action”

“Derivas de un itinerario intelectual. Oscar Masotta: arte, historieta, literatura, psicoanálisis y política”. Left to right: artists/researchers Nora Joung and Olga Martí, writer and researcher Ana Longoni, artist and sociologist Roberto Jacoby and psychoanalyst Manuel Hernández