Teresa Margolles’s grim realism at PAC, Milan

Violence, social injustice, gender hate, and exclusion: “Ya basta hijos de puta” explores the tragic consequences of organized crime and drug trafficking in Mexico.

Teresa Margolles, Pista de baile de la discoteca "La Madelón" (Pista da ballo della discoteca “La Madelón”), 2016

A series of photographs by Teresa Margolles show transgender sex workers standing on the remnants of dance floors from demolished night clubs in Ciudad Juárez in Mexico (“Pistas de baile”, dance floors, 2016); an installation memorializing Mexican murder victims with short pieces of surgical thread (used to sew up bodies after autopsy) knotted together to form a single line across the exhibition space (“51 Cuerpos”, 51 bodies, 2010); or “PM10” (2012), an installation consisting of 313 front covers of the Mexican newspaper PM, where ads with sexual innuendo appear close to photos of killings. It’s just a few of the 14 installations shown in “Ya basta hijos de puta”, the solo exhibition of Mexican artist Teresa Margolles’s work at PAC - Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea in Milan, on view until May 20th.

Margolles’s voice is brutal, pungent, extreme – a response to social trauma, a socially-charged commentary that overwhelms and challenges the viewer. Using forensic material and bodily fluids, her works serve as vehicles for a relentless indictment of the growing violence directly related to drug trafficking in her own native country in particular, namely Mexico, which is considered to be one of the most violent countries in the world. Over the years her artistic practice has become increasingly minimalist while maintaining a focus on the subjects of violence, social injustice, gender hate, and exclusion.

Teresa Margolles, Pista de baile del nightclub “Irma’s”, 2016
Teresa Margolles, Pista de baile del nightclub “Irma’s”, 2016. Print on cotton paper. Transsexual prostitute standing on the floor of the demolished club dance floor in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. Courtesy the artist

Born in Culiacán in 1963, Teresa Margolles is a Mexican conceptual artist, photographer, videographer, and performance artist. Having studied forensic medicine, she quickly became aware of the tragic consequences of organized crime and narcotics trade in Mexico. Her work often examines the politics of the dead body, particularly the way bodies condemned to oblivion through violence caused by poverty and social exclusion can return to disrupt the political space. Certainly, her work is an extreme method of raising awareness and social responsibility. She has represented Mexico at the Venice Biennale 2009 and her work is exhibited worldwide, including the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Zurich, the Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo in Madrid, the Museo de Arte Moderna in Mexico City, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. She lives and works between Mexico City and Madrid.

Ya Basta Hijos de Puta
Teresa Margolles
Diego Sileo
Opening dates:
28 March – 20 May 2018
Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea, Via Palestro 14, Milan

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