October 7, 2018 - Museo Amparo - Marcos Kurtycz. Contra el estado de guerra, un arte de acción total
October 7, 2018

Museo Amparo

Marcos Kurtyc, Catcher mask, undated. Eyes made from bicycle horn. Private collection.

Marcos Kurtycz. Contra el estado de guerra, un arte de acción total
(Against the state of war, a total action art)
September 13, 2018–January 14, 2019

Museo Amparo
Centro Histórico
2 Sur 708
72000 Puebla, Pue.
Hours: Wednesday–Monday 10am–6pm,
Saturday 10am–9pm

T +52 222 229 3850

Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / YouTube / #MuseoAmparo

Curated by Francisco Reyes Palma 

Museo Amparo presents the exhibition Marcos Kurtycz. Contra el estado de guerra, un arte de acción totalan intensive research project that explores the production and the different artistic processes of the Polish-born artist during his years in Mexico.

50 years ago Marcos Kurtycz (Poland, 1934–Mexico, 1996) arrived in Mexico City, where he changed his engineering career for an artistic practice based on conceptualism, from which he became one of the fundamental precursors of action art and of the incorporation of the body as an artistic tool, with the quality of significant emplacement. In the Mexican environment of the moment, it was unusual to take those stances, which led Kurtycz to develop not only his own path within art as an idea but to provide it with an active meaning that would affect the totality of his experimental pursuits. 

The first contact of the artist with Mexico remained preserved in his journals and projects: a caustic vision of the brutality of October 2, 1968, and the stark portrait of touristic exoticism, in the face of the popular celebration of the Day of the Dead. In the same notebooks Marcos Kurtycz soon showed his affinity with action art, that extended in a precursory manner to a good part of the artistic trends and movements of the second half of the twentieth century, an aesthetic of dematerialization of the object, not only due to the prevalence given to the idea over the final product—the process rather than the outcome—but due to the ephemeral character of the action and the wide presence of crumbly, unstable materials outside the usual repertoire in traditional artistic production, even in the most avant-garde tradition. 

This comprehensive dialogue would transform him into an exceptional figure, one of the most complex and versatile in the Mexican scene, parallel to the movement of the groups of the seventies and oblique to the eighties post avant-garde, concealed under the term neo-Mexicanism. By then, Kurtycz had developed a war strategy against the institutionalization and commodification of art, based on the act of “bombing” as a modality of postal art, as well as an intense activity of publishing rituals with its consequence of artists’ books. Although Kurtycz had already become a central figure in Mexican performance with great international visibility; in the nineties, when a new generation of artists affiliated with neo-conceptualisms began to gain momentum, the artist faced illness and reformulated his pertinacious activity as an actionist with a new war cycle fought by his snake alter ego, a being able to change its skin and take life by assault. 

This exhibition will remain open to the public until Monday, January 14, 2019.

Museo Amparo
Museo Amparo is a private institution founded in memory of Amparo Rugarcía de Espinosa Yglesias in 1991 by Manuel Espinosa Yglesias and his daughter Ángeles Espinosa Yglesias Rugarcía through Fundación Amparo with the commitment to preserve, research, display, and disclose pre-Columbian, colonial, modern, and contemporary Mexican art. Currently, Museo Amparo displays its pre-Columbian art collection, considered one of the most important in Mexico in a private institution. In addition to the collection of works of colonial, 19th and 20th century art, it has an ongoing program of Mexican and international temporary exhibitions as well as an intensive program of academic, artistic, educational, and ludic activities for all age groups.

Museo Amparo
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