Magazine article Artforum International

Mario Garcia Torres: Proyectos Monclova

Magazine article Artforum International

Mario Garcia Torres: Proyectos Monclova

Article excerpt

Mario Garcia Torres makes work that reenacts peak moments of postwar Conceptual art, but whose organizing principles are wholly relevant to artistic production today: the rationalization of processes; an emphasis on language and on reading versus visual experience; an economy of media and colors; and mathematical concepts such as permutation and repetition. His videos, films, installations, and photographs reinterpret works from the 1960s and '70s by Sol LeWitt, Robert Barry, and John Baidessari, among others, creating a personal construal of Conceptual art and the position of the artist as researcher and archivist. This retrenchment of the past is motivated by the concept of allegory as a postmodern strategy for producing works in which the artist rescues historical moments from obscurity, bringing them to light under a revised definition for the present.

For his recent "Early Color Video Tapes," this young artist also reenacted Pop art moments. The video installation All That Color Is Making Me Blind, 2008, was divided into two elements: an old video monitor displaying texts referring to television and radio appearances by artists such as Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol, Ed Ruscha, and Joseph Beuys, and color videos shown on nine monitors forming a square a few feet away. In 1970, we learn, Dali appeared in a Datsun commercial; he also advertised Alka-Seltzer tablets, ending the commercial with the phrase "Like a Dali," in reference to the effectiveness of the effervescent pills. Warhol appeared as himself on Saturday Night Live in 1981 and on a 1985 episode of The Love Boat. Beuys sang "Sonne statt Reagan" on television as a play on the German phrase Sonne statt Regen (sun instead of rain), criticizing Ronald Reagan's weapons policy. Ruscha performed in two films, though in one case he ended up on the cutting room floor. …

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