CAPC
musée d'art contemporain
de Bordeaux

EDGARDO ARAGÓN

MESOAMERICA: THE HURRICANE EFFECT

// Catalogue d'exposition / 2016 / Jeu de Paume, Paris ; CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux

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The Mexican artist Edgardo Aragón addresses Mexican and global economic and political systems, and zooms in on their effects on Mexican communities. This project is a part of “Our Ocean, Your Horizon”, curated by Heidi Ballet for the Satellite Programme, co-produced by the Jeu de Paume, Paris and the CAPC musée d’art contemporain, Bordeaux.

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Each exhibition of the  Satellite Programme is accompanied by a publication that was conceived as a carte blanche for the artists. This series of books, each of which was created in close collaboration with a graphic design agency, forms an independent artistic space. 

 

Including a video and a series of maps, the work by Edgardo Aragón Mesoamerica: The Hurricane Effect provides a critical cartography of the effects of the Mesoamerican Integration and Development Project in the state of Oaxaca in Mexico. This US-funded, multimillion dollar project officially intended to fight poverty but in practice tends to benefit foreign companies and leads to rampant corruption. The protagonist of Aragón’s video makes a poetic gesture to correct the wrongs of the project by bringing a battery with electricity to the coastal community of Cachimbo, a place severely hit by hurricanes. Cachimbo is just eight kilometers away from a Mesoamerica wind turbine plant, and yet it does not have a reliable electricity supply, with only a solar energy system that was donated by an Indian NGO. Along with the battery, the protagonist carries a collection of Zapotec legends that originated in the region. A Cachimbo inhabitant recites an excerpt from one of these legends, a story about a time of renewal after a time of catastrophe, a mode of thinking reinserted into the community to counter the unquestioned acceptance of misfortunes dictated by the religious tradition imported by the Spanish.

This book traces the genesis of this work through an interview with the artist by Heidi Ballet, while the text by historian Jorge Luis Capdepont Ballina highlights the importance of the region of the Mesoamerica Project within the context of the economic expansion of the United States, China and Europe and reveal how the concept of “Mesoamerica” is being used to justify a proposal of an economic nature, deploying history as an element to confer legitimacy and cohesion.

In the book are also reproduced the ten hand-coloured maps which are part of the work Mesoamerica: The Hurricane Effect. These show the geographies of collaboration between Mexico and the United States, and illustrate the involvement of political parties, drug cartels and foreign companies in the negative consequences of the Mesoamerica Plan, portraying each of them as mythical animals.

 

Published on the occasion of the eponymous exhibition at the CAPC musée d'art contemporain, Bordeaux, from 15 September to 6 November 2016, and at the Jeu de Paume, Paris, from 9 February to 22 May 2016.


Publication : 

Interview with the artist by Heidi Ballet and text by Jorge Luis Capdepont-Ballina

Graphic Design : Julie Rousset & Audrey Templier
Co-edition : le Jeu de Paume, Paris, et le CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux.
Diffusion : Les presses du réel
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Public selling price: 14€

Number of pages: 64 pages

Language: Bilingual French / English

CAPC diffusion

ISBN: 978-2-87721-226-7

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