El Regreso De Los Dinosaurios

Public Performance: Travis Boyer, “Thunderbird Margarita” | 7 pm

Alejandro Almanza Pereda
Gabriela Alva Cal y Mayor
Travis Boyer
Ricardo Cid
Livia Corona
Aurora Ixchel Pellizzi
GT Pellizzi
Amanda Valdez

Curated by Adrian Geraldo Saldaña

The Abrons Arts Center is proud to present the group exhibition El Regreso de los Dinosaurios, a cross-section of contemporary visual culture in Mexican society through the lens of the recent presidential election.

The significance of the media image cannot be understated in a country where more households have television than running water. Throughout the second-half of the 20th century, Televisa, the dominant television broadcaster, styled itself as a “soldier of the PRI” — the autocratic political party that tightly held electoral power for 70 years. Mexico made a historic advance towards multi-party democracy in 2000, voting an opposition candidate into the presidency. However, on July 1, 2012, Enrique Peña Nieto, the PRI presidential candidate and Televisa darling, was voted into office after years of anemic economic growth and a devastating spike in narco violence. His youthful and camera-ready appearance belied his lineage to his party’s old guard, known as “Los Dinosaurios.”

While Peña Nieto’s election is challenged by an emerging student protest movement on charges of vote-buying and fraud, El Regreso de los Dinosaurios proposes that the flow of ideas — if not more importantly, the flow of images — remains diminished by a co-opted and partisan media monopoly. As a result the infant democracy of Mexico suffers, scarcely engaging with the confrontational image and the critical voice.

Serving as a visual counternarrative to the splashy campaigns, these works telegraph some of the social themes that matter most to the Mexican citizen — education, security, infrastructure, economic prosperity. Through a coupling of satirical and formal gestures, these seven artists dial up the tension between aspiration and obstacle, the self and nation, not merely to provoke but to redraw the perimeter of the current political discourse.

An opening reception will be held on September 7 with a public performance by Travis Boyer in the Abrons Gallery at 7 p.m. A video program of documentary shorts from The VICE Guide to the Elections, directed by Bernardo Loyola and produced by VICE Mexico, will be held in the Abrons Underground Theater on September 27 at 7 p.m.