Magazine article Artforum International

Dino Dinco and Julio Torres

Magazine article Artforum International

Dino Dinco and Julio Torres

Article excerpt

"Todos Somos Putos" ("We Are All Faggots), an exhibition created by Los Angeles--based Dino Dinco and Mexicali artist Julio Torres, was, as its title suggests, an argument for the persistence of nonassimilated queer culture on both sides of the border. As the artists wrote in their press release, "Shattering the construction of (a) 'gay community' allows for queerness to remain queer and not subsumed by the global plague of rainbow flags and middle class gay marriage." Created for Mexicali Rose, an inspiring community-based media center and gallery in Mexicali's Pueblo Nuevo barrio, next to the US border, which was founded by Marco Vera after he returned to his hometown from Los Angeles in 2006, the exhibition was also a celebration of the two artists' ongoing artistic exchange and friendship.

Torres, an inventive photo-documentarian and recent graduate of the fine art program of the Universidad Autonoma de Baja California, met Dinco online a few years ago. Dinco had recently shot El Abeulo (The Grandfather), 2008, an intimate video portrait of Chicano poet and activist Joe Jimenez, and Torres was working on White Gold Youth, 2008, a poignant and glamorous study of Mexican's barrio youth subculture. A correspondence began, but it wasn't until last June that the two artists met. When Torres proposed a show of Dinco's work at the gallery, Dinco suggested they produce a joint exhibition instead.

The result, "Todos Somas Putos," was, like all the shows I've seen at this gallery, both conceptually sophisticated and audience-friendly. Torres's photographic work Resultados de la busqueda: Borrachos besandose (Search Results: Drunks Kissing), 2010, displays video grabs from Mexican YouTube of straight drunk men kissing each other on dares. This, Torres explained to me, is a popular bar game. The twelve small C-prints reveal expressions ranging from tender abandon to anguished affront at a camera noticed too late. …

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