Abraham Cruzvillegas and Kerry Tribe

Abraham Cruzvillegas and Kerry Tribe

Modern Art Oxford

Abraham Cruzvillegas, “La Familia,” 2009.
Coconuts, artificial hair, steel wire and glue.
Image courtesy of kurimanzutto.

September 26, 2011

Kerry Tribe
Dead Star Light
27 September–20 November 2011

30 Pembroke Street
Oxford OX1 1BP
T +44 (0)1865 722733
info [​at​] modernartoxford.org.uk.

Abraham Cruzvillegas
Autoconstrucción: The Optimistic Failure of a Simultaneous Promise
27 September–20 November 2011

Modern Art Oxford presents an exhibition of new work by Mexican artist Abraham Cruzvillegas. The artist is best known for his long-standing project Autoconstruccion, which takes inspiration from the eclectic and improvisatory architecture of his childhood home in the area of Pedregales de Coyoacán, Mexico City. Autoconstrucción operates as a metaphor for individual identity and the identity of a place existing in an unfinished state. Cruzvillegas’ project is informed by ideas of ‘survival economics’—how scarcity can lead to recycling and solidarity in opposition to consumption and individualism.

Over the last year, Cruzvillegas has explored aspects of Oxford and its history, including its associations with science, literature, magic, ethnography, imperialism and politics to propose works that combine aspects of the local with his highly personal and poetic visual language.

Cruzvillegas has created a series of new works for Modern Art Oxford that respond to two distinct contexts—the city of Oxford and the artist’s own personal background: The Optimistic Failure, a large-scale suspended sculpture in the form of a ‘mobile’, adorned with representations of Amazonian tsantsas (shrunken heads) made from animal dung, grass and soil collected from Port Meadow, Oxford; and The Simultaneous Promise, a mobile sculpture constructed from a tricycle and sound system that plays recordings of the artist whistling songs from his childhood and songs by current Oxford bands. These commissions are presented alongside two other new works: Blind Self Portrait as a Post-Thatcherite Deaf Lemon Head. For ‘K.M.’, in which found paper items are layered in thick monochrome paint and pinned to the Gallery walls in a geometric pattern; and Untitled Scratching Relief with Builders Groove 3, a drawing inspired by the routes taken by Cruzvillegas during his visits to Oxford incised directly onto the walls of the Gallery.

Kerry Tribe
Dead Star Light
27 September–20 November 2011

American artist and filmmaker Kerry Tribe presents a solo exhibition of her most recent work in an ongoing investigation into memory, ambiguity and doubt. Dead Star Light consists of three newly commissioned works exploring these themes using both new and obsolete technologies, such as analog audio, digital video and 16mm film. Milton Torres Sees a Ghost is a room-sized sound installation in which reel-to-reel audio tape traces the gallery walls, endlessly playing and erasing a first hand account of an American fighter pilot’s encounter with a UFO over British airspace in the 1950s. Parnassius mnemosyne is a 16mm-film installation featuring an enigmatic animation of a butterfly’s wing. The Last Soviet is a single-channel video combining original and appropriated footage to tell the true story of Sergei Krikalev, a Soviet cosmonaut who was left in orbit for nearly a year as the USSR collapsed beneath him.

These works continue Tribe’s interest in producing large-scale projects in film, video and installation that carefully consider the possibilities their mediums afford and attempt to produce an experience for the viewer akin to the subject of the works: amnesia, misremembering and the gap between individual and collective memory.

The exhibition brings to a close the 3 Series of commissioned works, organised by Modern Art Oxford in collaboration with Camden Arts Centre, London, and Arnolfini, Bristol.


Kerry Tribe In Conversation with Stuart Comer
Tuesday 27 September 2011, 5pm

Abraham Cruzvillegas In Conversation with Mark Godfrey
Thursday 27 October 2011, 6pm

Modern Art Oxford, 30 Pembroke Street, Oxford OX1 1BP. Tel. +44 (0)1865 722733. Email: info@modernartoxford.org.uk. www.modernartoxford.org.uk

Open Tuesday & Wednesday 10am–5pm, Thursday to Saturday 10am–10pm, galleries until 7pm, Sunday 12pm–5pm, closed Mondays.

Admission Free.

Abraham Cruzvillegas and Kerry Tribe
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Modern Art Oxford
September 26, 2011

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