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Estallar las apariencias: Teo Hernández y cía.
Estallar las apariencias: Teo Hernández y cía.
Curated by Andrea Ancira in collaboration with Regina Tattersfield
Estallar las apariencias: Teo Hernández y cía. is a curatorial project that aims to develop a critical and expanded revision of the remarkable archive of Teo Hernández (b. 1939, Ciudad Hidalgo, Michoacán - París,1992), a Mexican artist and filmmaker whose work has often been overlooked in historical artistic and film narratives. The relevance of his practice relies in his experimental and interdisciplinary approach to movement, space, body and image, which is thoroughly documented in his archive. For the first time in Mexico, this project intends to bring awareness and make visible this artist’s experimental work from an integral and transversal perspective that appraises his archive and his filmography as a whole corpus of practice and thought.
Teo Hernández was devoted to a stubborn and avant-garde practice anchored in the marginal gay community of parisian experimental filmmakers of the late 60’s and early 70’s. He was born in Mexico where he created the Centro Experimental de Cinematografía (CEC). From 1966 on, he lived and worked in Paris where he co-created with Gaël Badaud, Michel Nedjar and Jacques Haubois aka Jakobois, MétroBarbèsRochechou Art (1980), an experimental film collective. Following his interest in the relationship between image, movement and body, he collaborated very closely with Studio DM (1983) a dance company founded in Paris by Bernardo Montet and Catherine Diverrès, that forged a practice strongly permeated with literary material, subtle, broken, nervous or throbbing movements struggling with pure presence and emotional states. After his premature death, his films and his archive were bequeathed to Michel Nedjar who keeps them at the Film Collection of Centre Georges Pompidou and Bibliothèque Kandinsky, respectively. The work of Teo Hernández has only be shown in Mexico once, twenty years ago, in the framework of a homage organized by Cineteca National and Centre Georges Pompidou.
Since his work is marked by collaboration and affective encounters, the exhibition aims to deviate from a conventional monographic reading of the archive by locating Hernández’s work and archive material in relation to the works of artists with whom he collaborated but also to a group of contemporary artists based in Mexico City that, in an effort of (re)connecting Hernández’s work with the Mexican artistic community, were invited to participate in the research and interpretation of this artist’s archive. Thus, while showing a selection of objects of the archive and films by Hernández that will offer a comprehensive reading of his trajectory through six thematic axis (Journal / Portraits / Body and Dance / Baroque / City / Autobiography), this show calls for a productive dialogue with works by Michel Nedjar, Gaël Badaud, Bernardo Montet, Gerard Courant, and a series of artistic interventions to and from the archive by Dalia Huerta Cano, Rodrigo Valero-Puertas, Tania Somolonoff and Anaïs Bouts. These dialogues aim to contextualize Hernandez’s practice as well as to reveal his contemporary soundness. In addition, these works will be accompanied by a Documentation Center, configured as space of mediation, interpretation and encounter of the archive that will give public access to a series of editions made of the materials we have encountered in the research process of the archive conceptualized and produced in collaboration with Taller Producción Editorial.
*This project is developed in the framework of the seminar Technology, audiovisual media and artistic experimentation, a collaborative curatorial research platform developed at Centro de la Imagen in Mexico City (2014-16). I’m deeply grateful for the support of Michel Nedjar, Teo Hernández’s family and community of friends and collaborators; MNAM Centre Georges Pompidou, Villa Vassilieff, Fundación Bancomer BBVA, Fundación Jumex, Patronato de Arte Contemporáneo (PAC), Instituto Francés de América Latina –IFAL, Fundation d’Art Contemporain Pernod Ricard and Pernod Ricard México.
1 - 5. Andrea Ancira, Research Documentation of the Fond Teo Hernández at Bibliothèque Kandinsky, February-April 2016.
About the Curator
Andrea Ancira is an independent writer and researcher based in Mexico City. She is interested in contemporary experimental artistic practices and their role in shaping social identities, discourses and sensibilities. When examining these practices— either in the field of sound or image— she has approached them from their possible implications in the conformation of ideas of utopia, revolution and the commons. The perspective from where she explores these phenomena is informed by multiple theoretical frameworks such as marxism, history of contemporary culture and politics, feminism, decolonial studies, among others. Her work has been published in academic and non-academic platforms. She is an associate curator of Centro de la Imagen for the upcoming exhibition of experimental filmaker Teo Hernández.