The Projective Eye Gallery at UNC Charlotte Center City will present “¡VIVA!,” an exhibition of work by contemporary Latin American artists from Friday, Jan. 19, through Sunday, Feb. 25, with an opening reception on Jan. 19.
“¡VIVA!” is a subset of a larger exhibition curated by Randy Shull and Hedy Fischer from their personal collection. Shull and Fischer have lived and worked in Mexico, a place, they said, “where the most recent technical innovation clashes with pre-Hispanic apparitions at nearly every intersection.” The couple now divides their time between homes in Merida, Mexico, and Asheville, North Carolina, where they operate the art space 22 London. “¡VIVA!” was on view there this fall.
Projective Eye Gallery curator Crista Cammaroto selected 10 of the original 19 “¡VIVA!” artists to display: Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Jorge Méndez Blake, Pablo Rasgado, Tania Franco Klein, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Gabriel de la Mora, Moris (Israel Meza Moreno), Jose Dávila, Santiago Sierra, and Javier Téllez.
In recognition of the growing Latino population in Charlotte – much of it with Mexican roots – multiple local arts organizations are participating in the vibrant 2017-18 initiative “In Focus/En Foque,” funded by Bank of America. The collaborative exhibitions feature photographic works by more than 50 artists from Mexico and the United States that explore a broad range of topics, from identity to globalism to borders. With “¡VIVA!,” the Projective Eye Gallery extends this community conversation through different artistic mediums and voices.
The artists represented in “¡VIVA!” tackle contemporary issues from multiple perspectives and demonstrate “connections between the pre-Hispanic and the stubborn utopian ideals of modernism,” said Shull and Fischer.
All of them have international stature, and many have work in major museum collections, such as the Museum of Modern Art, the Tate Modern, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid.
“’¡VIVA!’ is exactly what it proclaims to be,” said Cammaroto. “Life in the big sense – a pluralistic deconstructive reconstruction, a questioning of power, an engagement with the stuff that is all of us.”
The opening reception on Jan.19 will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. and will include a talk by UNC Charlotte Associate Professor of Art History Angela Rajagopalan, a specialist in pre-Columbian and early colonial art and architecture of Mexico.
Image: Javier Téllez, “One Flew over the Void” (Bala perdida), 2017, color print.