Mexico City Roundup
              Terence Trouillot
              The title of Jim Ricks’s painting, I’m So Bored with the U.S.A. (2019)—borrowed from the Clash song—might be taken as a comment on how pervasively Mexico City’s Art Week has, in recent years, been dominated by the country’s relationship with its northern neighbor. This teal-colored canvas, the text of its title painted neatly against the surface in a sans-serif font, hangs at Daniela Elbahara gallery among a collection of the artist’s playful and witty works interrogating the structures of democracy and resistance. “This is What Democracy Looks Like” is the first painting show for the US-born Irish artist, whose conceptual work often incorporates sculpture and performance. The exhibition uses humor to lay bare the absurdity and hypocrisy of US politics, and to question the amount of attention paid to the country by the rest of the world. Perhaps partly in anticipation of the cancellation of Art Basel Hong Kong, a surplus of American and European dealers and collectors were present during this major week of art fairs, gallery openings, and museum exhibitions. Pia Camil’s exhibition “Ríe ahora, llora después” [Laugh Now, Cry Later] was particularly popular with both visitors and locals. For her second solo show at Galería OMR, the …
              Mexico City Roundup
              Kim Córdova
              A man wearing pajamas and a bathrobe clutches a branded coffee mug and ponders the distance through the drawn curtains of the Museo Jumex terrace gallery window, his graying eyebrows knitted in maudlin unease. This is Mike, artist Michael Smith’s alter-ego who in the exhibition at Jumex, “Imagine the view from here!,” considers buying a “curated timeshare living experience” at the museum, marketed by the fictional International Trade and Enrichment Association. In promotional videos and trade fair–like booths, his bone-dry humor critiques the private interests that have a stake in the promotion of Mexico’s contemporary art scene to foreign and local markets as well as the clichéd banality of its consumption. The show is particularly resonant in the context of Art Week CDMX, the annual week of cultural offerings organized to coincide with Mexico City’s art fairs. Playfully seeding his fictional timeshare with coopted real elements such as photos from past museum events, the omnipresent juice at the museum’s openings, and cameos by the museum’s curator, Smith constructs a conceptual art version of an investable real estate lifestyle package. The show’s trade-fair aesthetic is a reminder of how easy it is to harrumph fairs as too mercantile, too convention center ticky-tacky, …

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