57th International Art Exhibition. Viva Arte Viva (2017)

Life in the folds

One of the principal statements of art is the expression of reality in every single period of our history; focusing in this perspective, the artist Carlos Amorales (Mexico City, 1970) introduced his job titled “Life in the folds” during the 57th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia.

With the curatorship of Pablo León de la Barra (Mexico City, 1972), the exhibition of Amorales was assembled in the historic building known as the Arsenale, the official venue of the Mexican Pavilion in this edition. The search of new ways of language to avoid the censorship applied in several mass media was the main topic in the job of the Mexican artist. 

For this installation, many ocarinas were made to create an encrypted alphabet which can be interpreted both textually and phonetically because each ocarina emits a different sound according to the letter or sign that represents. Also, Amorales designed diverse music sheets whose notes are presented in an abstract way with the objective to create a new and innovative method of perception and interpretation in every visitor. All these elements converge in the film “The cursed village”, a story about a migrant family that is lynched when they arrive in a little town.

The Mexican Pavilion got high relevance to be the suitable reflect of the main events of 2017, like the renegotiation of North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the massive migratory movements presented in several regions of the world.

Artist: Carlos Amorales

Curatorship: Pablo León de la Barra

Commissioner: Gabriela Gil Verenzuela






Mexican Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

Carlos Amorales - Life in the folds. Curated by Pablo León De La Barra.
e-flux Nov. 9, 2017


Critical reflection, through aesthetic terms, around identity and how otherness is key in the construction of “us” in relation to “them” is also emphasized in the work of Carlos Amorales (México, 1970), developed for the Mexican pavilion, titled Life in the Folds (2017) and curated by Pablo León de la Barra.
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I den mexikanska paviljongen har Carlos Amorales med sin La vida en los pliegues (Livet i vecken, th och allra överst) skapat en grafisk installation som iscensätter en verklighetsbaserad berättelse om en migrerande familjs lynchning i en utländsk stad.
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Life in the folds

The composite work of Carlos Amorales mixes print, sculpture and cinema to give shape to an installation of great formal rigour, which comes to life thanks to music.
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Artist Carlos Amorales also enters the world of fantasy at the Mexico Pavilion with a collection of some 1,000 whistles that form letters of an imagined alphabet.
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Mexico. The real and the abstract evoke moods of curiosity, mystery and tension in very cryptic pieces in this installation by Carlos Amorales.
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Carlos Amorales interviewed by Francesco Scasciamacchia.
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Il Messico alla 57. Esposizione Internazionale di Arte della Biennale di Venezia presenta Life in the folds di Carlos Amorales.
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«Ho vissuto un ciclo: apertura verso il globale e chiusura verso il nazionale». Parla il “Messico” di Carlos Amorales.
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Mexican Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

Curated by Pablo León de la Barra.
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“Life in the Folds”: Carlos Amorales Unveils his Project for the Mexican Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

On the occasion of our trip to Mexico City to attend Zona Maco 2017, we interviewed Mexican artist Carlos Amorales to give us a preview of the project he will present for the Mexican Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale.
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