TEMPORARY EXHIBIT

Gnomon, otras guías de Tercerunquinto February 8 - June 14

Projection of a Shadow

The sundial has to be the oldest and simplest invention in the history of chronology, and it is also the only clock that has not undergone any modification whatsoever. Since the sun maintains its gravitational relationship with the Earth, its path across the elliptic lends constancy to the body’s relationship to time. Noting how the sun’s movement draws the shadow of the building of the Museo Anahuacalli on its esplanade, the artists’ collective Tercerunquinto —with their essentially geometrical and archaeological way of thinking—has developed an articulation.

The Museo Anahuacalli potentially acts like a Gnomon, an extraordinary ancient Greek word that, like the word architecture, has retained its form despite over two thousand years of use, and which designated both the central rod of a sundial and the intellectual act of discerning and interpreting. The building’s shadow in the museum’s front esplanade falls naturally onto three groups of sculptures by Tercerunquinto. Seen from the front and at ground-level, as figures against the backdrop of the museum, these sculptures look like a residential complex, the walls of some of which are painted in the chromatic palette that predominates across the landscapes of Mexican and Latin American social peripheries, thereby signaling their condition of structural precariousness. This pictorial choice is itself an abstraction, which, in combination with the horizon created by the walls, constitutes an act of commentary in the context of a modernist project that had recourse to an ancestral, wholly pre-Hispanic past in order to put its stake on an identitarian future that was already installing itself impatiently and prematurely in the present.

Formed in periods of natural daylight, the shadows on the walls of the sculptures are marks of the museum’s presence in time as well as a form of writing that points toward the light of our present. The scarifications are a reading of time, a question of temporal angle that points toward the confluence of a modernist architecture project in the hands of two great artists, Diego Rivera and Juan O’Gorman, and the project of modernity as it was understood in Mexico; of a past that dreamt optimistically about a future in which society was organized in terms of functionality, and a present in which that project has shown itself to have failed, since we have gone from the dream of progress to the awakening of a future that found us practically bereft of social, political and, tellingly, aesthetic solutions. Tercerunquinto’s geometrical and political aesthetics can only be understood as a form of critique, that is, a rethinking of the problem in its essential causes.

The mural Pesadilla de guerra, sueño de paz —the whereabouts of which are still a topic of speculation, and a charcoal study of which is held by the museum— shows that which would be deducted from the final image of the finished painting: the lines of projection structuring the mural’s viewpoint, which run from the figures of Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong in the upper left corner to the tameme carrying a package in the lower right, articulating Rivera’s inevitably ideologically charged narrative.  Tercerunquinto has extended the lines of this study beyond the mural’s edges using the technique of “chalk-lines” or reventones, which they adopt from the construction of walls, whereby a thread covered in powdered pigment is pulled taut and snapped against a surface in a kind of graphical pizzicato. For Tercerunquinto, the result is an image of the bare lines of the mural’s narrative, completely stripped of figures; a narrative without characters, symmetrically inverting the strategy used in the groups of sculptures outside and thereby revealing the geometrical aspect of the artists’ approach in addition to the historical one.  The resulting panels, on which the projection lines overrun the edges of the mural, are quite literally pointers indicating the edge or the margin; an insistence on the collective’s part that ceaselessly finds angles of equation and dissymmetry between a center —whether it be an institutional center or the center of any kind of power whatsoever— and the peripheries that encircle it.

Erick Vázquez

Gnomon, otras guías de Tercerunquinto February 8 - June 14

Projection of a Shadow

The sundial has to be the oldest and simplest invention in the history of chronology, and it is also the only clock that has not undergone any modification whatsoever. Since the sun maintains its gravitational relationship with the Earth, its path across the elliptic lends constancy to the body’s relationship to time. Noting how the sun’s movement draws the shadow of the building of the Museo Anahuacalli on its esplanade, the artists’ collective Tercerunquinto —with their essentially geometrical and archaeological way of thinking—has developed an articulation.

The Museo Anahuacalli potentially acts like a Gnomon, an extraordinary ancient Greek word that, like the word architecture, has retained its form despite over two thousand years of use, and which designated both the central rod of a sundial and the intellectual act of discerning and interpreting. The building’s shadow in the museum’s front esplanade falls naturally onto three groups of sculptures by Tercerunquinto. Seen from the front and at ground-level, as figures against the backdrop of the museum, these sculptures look like a residential complex, the walls of some of which are painted in the chromatic palette that predominates across the landscapes of Mexican and Latin American social peripheries, thereby signaling their condition of structural precariousness. This pictorial choice is itself an abstraction, which, in combination with the horizon created by the walls, constitutes an act of commentary in the context of a modernist project that had recourse to an ancestral, wholly pre-Hispanic past in order to put its stake on an identitarian future that was already installing itself impatiently and prematurely in the present.

Formed in periods of natural daylight, the shadows on the walls of the sculptures are marks of the museum’s presence in time as well as a form of writing that points toward the light of our present. The scarifications are a reading of time, a question of temporal angle that points toward the confluence of a modernist architecture project in the hands of two great artists, Diego Rivera and Juan O’Gorman, and the project of modernity as it was understood in Mexico; of a past that dreamt optimistically about a future in which society was organized in terms of functionality, and a present in which that project has shown itself to have failed, since we have gone from the dream of progress to the awakening of a future that found us practically bereft of social, political and, tellingly, aesthetic solutions. Tercerunquinto’s geometrical and political aesthetics can only be understood as a form of critique, that is, a rethinking of the problem in its essential causes.

The mural Pesadilla de guerra, sueño de paz —the whereabouts of which are still a topic of speculation, and a charcoal study of which is held by the museum— shows that which would be deducted from the final image of the finished painting: the lines of projection structuring the mural’s viewpoint, which run from the figures of Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong in the upper left corner to the tameme carrying a package in the lower right, articulating Rivera’s inevitably ideologically charged narrative.  Tercerunquinto has extended the lines of this study beyond the mural’s edges using the technique of “chalk-lines” or reventones, which they adopt from the construction of walls, whereby a thread covered in powdered pigment is pulled taut and snapped against a surface in a kind of graphical pizzicato. For Tercerunquinto, the result is an image of the bare lines of the mural’s narrative, completely stripped of figures; a narrative without characters, symmetrically inverting the strategy used in the groups of sculptures outside and thereby revealing the geometrical aspect of the artists’ approach in addition to the historical one.  The resulting panels, on which the projection lines overrun the edges of the mural, are quite literally pointers indicating the edge or the margin; an insistence on the collective’s part that ceaselessly finds angles of equation and dissymmetry between a center —whether it be an institutional center or the center of any kind of power whatsoever— and the peripheries that encircle it.

Erick Vázquez