Melquiades Herrera

3 March–22 July 2018

Exhibition Overview

The Melquiades Herrera Fund of the Arkheia Documentation Center is the core archive from where this curatorial exercise starts. It is made up of diverse documents, its personal library and a famous set of "objects", gathered by the artist from 1979 to 2003. It includes materials that are difficult to classify and keep in the regular archive standards, such as candy and chewing gum still in their wrappings , liquids trapped in a toy, manufactured artifacts; class programs, newspaper clippings, games of mental agility, and papers full of mathematical and poetic calculations. In addition, about 250 books of art, magic, geometry, theory of objects, acting, magazines of eroticism, of werewolves, comics of Fantomas, Batman and a long etcetera.

Under this "system of objects" Herrera's production appears as the fragmentary deployment of a "cultural theorem", armed with artistic propositions and aesthetic inscriptions. The "aesthetic inscriptions" are those that exceed the field of art (such as mathematics, physics, mass culture, popular culture, etc.). To the curatorial exercise of ordering his proposals according to the geometric order, we call him, in the words of Melquiades himself: "plastic reportage".

The sample, against the grain of thinking in its entirety as a historiographical story about the figure or character of Herrera, proposes an activation of its plastic-conceptual critical articulations from a contemporary approach, which plays with the intersections of its dispersed production in an economic plane , political and urban. Probably, Melquiades did not remain fixed in the past as a surpassed image of art, but with a differential optics -or critical strabism- he left active a mechanism of cultural subversion to look at material production under neoliberalism: a materialistic contraption produced by the Professor M., as if it were a repertoire of problems and tricks stored in the Samsonite portfolio he used to carry.

Melquiades Herrera was a visual artist and action artist, teacher, writer, collector, videographer and performance pioneer in Mexico. He taught visual education, design and geometry at the National School of Plastic Arts (UNAM) and the School of Design of the INBA (EDINBA). He was a founding member of the Non-Group (1977-1983), one of the most important groups of artists of the late 1970s, and was part of Marcel Duchamp's Circle of Connoisseurs.

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