VISITING SPEAKER SERIES: Laureana Toledo
Monday, March 20, 6:00 PM
Visual Arts Presentation Lab, SME 149
Order and Progress, by Laureana Toledo, addresses the problematic notion of progress and its colonial consequences with respect to a failed modernity. Drawing from Toledo’s research on the link between Mexico and Great Britain, the project examines historical events to question the development and the political, social, and cultural context and shared by these countries.
Using documentary information found in London’s Science Museum, Toledo constructs a narrative that confronts that modern colonial projection and its exploitation of natural resources, contrasting it with present-day reality on the Mexican isthmus, where the artist spent her early childhood. Train track construction processes, the inauguration of the railroad, the living conditions around it, images of the local landscape, telegrams about the imminent Mexican Revolution, and an inventory of English possessions are all brought into connection with the complex contemporary situation facing this area.
(Ixtepec, Oaxaca, 1970) is a self-taught visual artist whose work explores the relationships between different media and forms of language, as well as the assimilation of popular culture and our means of interpreting that culture. She has shown her work in solo and group exhibitions in spaces like Eastside Projects, in Birmingham; Whitechapel Gallery, in London; the Museo de Arte Moderno (Musem of Modern Art), in Mexico; and RedCat, in Los Angeles, to name just a few. She has developed projects as a curator and in collaboration with Francis Alys, David Byrne, Lourdes Grobet, and The Limit, among others. Co-founded the SOMA space for artists in 2009; has been a guest editor on two occasions for the photography journal Luna Córnea; and has written a column for the Mexican weekly publication Frente. She currently divides her time between Mexico City and London, where she recently finished a residency as an international guest artist at Gasworks.