Artist: Elena Bajo
Exhibition title: Urania´s Mirror I – The owl of Minerva only flies at Dusk
Venue: Parallel Oaxaca, Mexico City
Date: August 4 – September 4, 2017
Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Parallel Oaxaca
Urania’s Mirror I (The owl of Minerva only flies at Dusk) is an interdisciplinary project that investigates environmental, social and political impact that economies of exploitation have on the land and communities of the Zapotec in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Oaxaca State, Mexico. This research reflects on the exhausted conditions of the present in which local natural resources, human and animal rights are ´owned´ by multinational corporations, neoliberal governments and organized crime. Considering the ancient and contemporary cosmology of the Zapotec in Oaxaca ( “The People of the Clouds”) and their strategies and commitment to resist the threats to their territory, Urania’s Mirror presents an installation of sculptural objects and a moving-image video with original footage and animation , as an analogy of how cosmological knowledge relates to nature, where natural goods (and common goods), earth, air, fire, animals, plants, are extensions of People themselves and any damage to these elements is a direct damage to People´s lives and a crime to their community.
Elena Bajo’s practice explores the intersection of anarchist thought, social ecology, and metaphysics. Her concept-generated and research based practice is concerned with the social and political dimensions of everyday spaces, the strategies to conceptualize resistance, the poetics of ideologies, and the relationship between temporalities and subjectivities. She works individually and collectively across installation, sculpture, performance, painting, film, text and writing. She received an MA in Fine Arts from Central Saint Martins School of Art, London (UK) in 2005 after obtaining a MA in Architecture from ESARQ, Barcelona in 2002. She was a co-founder of EXHIBITION, NY (2009). She is co-initiator of the LA collective D’CLUB (Divestment Club) engaged in fossil fuel divestment activities, and climate action. She has taught and lectured at Saas-Fee Summer Institute of Art, Berlin; Goldsmith’s College, London; Rhode Island School of Design, RISD, Providence; and Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield among other institutions. She has had recent solo exhibitions at ArcoMadrid-Audemars Piguet award, 2017; Garcia Galeria, Madrid; Kunsthalle Sao Paulo, Brazil and Annex14, Zurich, and group shows ‘Aun” Salon de Artistas, curated by Inti Guerrero, Pereira, Colombia; Performance Program, Kai 10 Arthena Foundation, Dusseldorf; Mardin Biennial, Turkey and Trust, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, Denmark; Performa Biennial, New York. Her artist’s publication Isle of Innocence (After Fordlandia) will soon be released, published by KSP, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Bajo lives and works in Los Angeles and Berlin.