Buscando la sombra del árbol (Looking for the shade of the tree)

  1. This is a video involving a certain kind of street character, usually called a “viene viene” (a squeegee), who cleans car windows at red traffic lights to earn a living and also often arbitrarily appropriates public parking places in the street for his own gain, charging motorists for parking their cars there, thereby by-passing any civilized code of behavior.

    From an idle and childish dynamic (like smacking a friend with a cleaning rag), this video goes deeper into an ominous scenario - a duel between two of these squeegees, with the ends of opening up a series of questions about our existence, particularly inside the violent, complex and confusing relationships existing between the different social structures of Mexican culture.

    It is important to point out the implicit relationship that exists between these individuals, with the artist as a participant inside this dynamic, revealing a complicity between the lines that cannot be stated but that inevitably gives way to desire.

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  2. I am interested in people who inhabit marginalized subcultures, living and working in public spaces and often participating in work that borders the illegal. The pretext that draws me to these groups lies in my recognition and fascination in their specific abilities and particularities that they have developed from living at the edges of society.

    I have built personal relationships with various groups that have allowed me to enter their private lives, establishing partnerships and exchanges. I often first enter these subcultures through drawing. I use drawing as a tool to establish a common language between us, often accepting challenges to show the conviction of my intentions, which frequently result in physical and emotional risks. I do this with the intent of gaining their trust and play into their stereotypes, for example I was nicknamed "The Christ of Iztapala”. Once inside these worlds I draw the people I meet, using their daily lives and experiences to illustrate their wants. From these first drawings they often ask me to draw their families and fantasies in order to show off in their neighborhoods. Drawing is important because it is not familiar to them, but through my involvement it becomes our common language as we develop trust. It is a way for me to let them know I acknowledge their presence and serve as evidence of their existence, which is important for people who are invisible within mainstream society and impacts how they cope with their environment.

    After I have been accepted into the community I film them. They gain confidence and show me their inner worlds by posing in front of me. I have not only been invited into their neighborhoods but also invited into their lives; I was once asked to visit one of them in a clandestine alcohol rehabilitation center. From these intimate situations I begin to develop a body of work with them using video as my main medium. The issue of public domain and its relation to the forms and strategies of informal trade and business at the edge of legality are fundamental in the development of my work. Degradation regarding social structures, the value of money compared to the value of subjectivity and the ambivalence of sexuality marked by violence contained in the mechanisms of power relations supplement the content of my work. My intention is to show through our work together a sense of humor and creativity, while also exposing the misery, violence, degradation, and neglect in which they live in. I emphasize respecting individuality, and avoid simplistic exoticism. I show intimacy from a profound analysis and manage a subjective language from a critical look.
    En los últimos años desarrollé un cuerpo de obra por medio de interacciones con personas que habitan, trabajan y viven del uso del espacio público, incorporando actividades laborales al límite o al margen de lo legal, con todos los riesgos que esto implica. El pretexto para acercarme a estas personas recae en un reconocimiento y fascinación por alguna habilidad y particularidad específica.

    Utilizando diferentes estrategias pude crear relaciones personales que me permitieron adentrarme de diferentes maneras en su intimidad, estableciendo vínculos, alianzas e intercambios.

    La forma más habitual fue a través del dibujo, aceptando ciertos retos para mostrar la convicción de mis intenciones y de tomar algunos riegos sobre mi integridad física y emocional que generalmente se presentan durante el primer proceso de adaptación, todo esto con la intención de presentarme de la manera más simple que me fue posible, “jugando” con los estereotipos sociales. Una ves adentrado en estos mundos ajenos a mi cotidianidad, comencé a dibujar a mis impresiones, tomando su cotidianidad, sus expresiones e ilustrando sus fantasías y deseos en combinación con mi mundo interior. Estos dibujos me sirvieron para mostrarles una habilidad desconocida y seductora para su forma de entender y lidiar con el entorno. A partir de estos me pidieron que los dibujara con sus hijos, sobrinos, esposas y mujeres de fantasía para poder tener un dibujo que presumir en sus barrios.

    El siguiente paso se dio de manera natural, al sacar la cámara y pedirles que hagan una actividad específica, comenzanron a tomar confianza, a mostrar su intimidad posando como actores frente a mi. Me invitaron a conocer sus barrios, a bromear sobre mi aspecto físico, (me apodaron “el cristo de Iztapala”) Uno de ellos me pidió que fuera a visitarlo a un centro clandestino de rehabilitación para alcohólicos, entre otras cosas. A partir de estas situaciones comencé a desarrollar con ellos el cuerpo de obra utilizando el video como soporte principal...
    mas info en mauriciolimon.com

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  3. “All with the fucking mouth!” This is one of the phrases used by DJ RUSSIAN, a child who calls for his father's recognition while simultaneously describing how to mug a man in the street and his desire to cross the border to have a better life in the United States. We can also see some cuts which demonstrate his advanced ability for the Beatbox. “Keeping tabs on the moment” shows a relation truncated by violence, patched together by the desire for something that is not there and sustained by the virtue and skill of a young man who is curious about life but marked by death.
    “All with the fucking mouth!” Es una de las frases utilizadas por DJ RUSO, un chavo que reclama el reconocimiento de su padre mientras describe como atracar a un hombre en la calle y sus deseos por cruzar la frontera para tener una mejor vida en Estados Unidos. De forma alterna podemos ver algunos cortes donde se aprecia su desarrollada capacidad para el beatbox. “Campanear el momento” muestra una relación truncada por la violencia, parchada por el deseo de algo que no está y sostenida por la virtud y destreza de un joven curioso por la vida pero marcado por la muerte.

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  4. Promise Prohibited is a two-channel film that narrates, through an image and sound environment, an undefined drama the relationship between three main characters. Two men, one of them "the Flame" and another of a considerably lower age, intermittently meet up with a young woman.
    For the majority of the duration of the film (19:16 min), we observe footage of the typical metropolitan area of a suburb of the Valley of Mexico landscape that still retains a hybrid environment somewhere between rural and poor urban settlement. There, in-between eroded reddish mountains, gray residential buildings and beautiful fields planted with cempasúchitl, several meetings are interlaced.
    Many of these are at the foot of a tree that serves as a symbolic element. However, one of the main scenes happens inside a small room. "The Flame" and the woman, sitting on the edge of a bed, look at each other as she starts undressing. On the wall next to the bed there is a pictorial portrait of both characters.
    The film ends with a shot of another man, perhaps a stepson of "the Flame", the formal partner of the woman or her half-brother, urinating on top of a hill, from where we observe under a twilight sky the development of a football game played on a court defined by irregular brown chalk lines – hand drawn - that are characteristic of earthy and asymmetric prairie fields.

    Mauricio Limon
    b. 1979, Mexico City
    Lives and works in Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Mauricio Limon is a self-taught artist.
    His work involves different medias such as drawing, painting, film and performance. Through personal affairs with people from the urban context, (mostly of them from Mexico City), Limon creates situations where those relationships has to dwell with a confrontation. The subjects of his films reveal the complexity of the inner world of his characters, in who Limon sets his own wanderings.
    Limon was recently selected for the Rijksakademie Van Beeldende Kunsten (2016-2017) residency. In 2014, Limon was nominated for the Future Generation Art Prize by the Victor Pinchuk Foundation and participated in the 14th Museo Tamayo Biennial, Mexico City. Limon has also been awarded the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant in 2010 and the Jóvenes Creadores Grant by FONCA in 2011-2012.
    His solo and group shows include: Justos Desconocidos, Cuarto de Maquinas, México DF, México, 2015; XVI Biennial Tamayo, Museo Tamayo, México DF, 2014; 21 Artist Shortlisted for the Future Generation Art Prize, PinchukArtCentre, Kiev, 2014; Buscando la sombra del árbol, Galería Hilario Galguera, México DF, México, 2014; Videonale 14, Kunst Museum Bonn, Germany, 2013; Batiente.01 Un momento, DESARCUERDO, Un principio, Casa del Lago Juan José Arreóla, México DF, México, 2012; Disponible: A Kind of Mexican Show, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 2011 and San Francisco Art Institute, 2010, An Exchange with Sol LeWitt, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams, MA, 2011; Versus, Projex-Mtl. Montreal, Canada, 2011; Fetiches Críticos, collaboration with Xavier Rodríguez, CA2M Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, Madrid, 2010; Hecho en Casa, Museum of Modern Art, Mexico City, 2009.
    Exhibition list:

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Buscando la sombra del árbol (Looking for the shade of the tree)

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