8 June to 26 August 2018
Héctor Zamora’s masterpiece Ordem e Progresso forms the basis for the exhibition of installations, photos and films of the internationally acclaimed Mexican artist. This is the first major presentation of the artist in Denmark.
about the exhibition
Hammer, knocking sounds and the sound of wood being broken apart, the first thing that meets you when you enter the Art Center east wing. Middle of the room stands the ruined remains of a small fishing boat.
A boat has a widespread symbol function in religions myths and rites, as the link between gods and humans and between the living and the dead realm. The boat is a symbol of travel, adventure and discovery – the hope of shelter or the ability to survive in a hostile environment. The ruined fishing boat amid the Art Center east wing, thus forming the basis for a magnificent and contrasting tale of life and death, of hope in a better future – and the destruction of this.
The traditional fishing
Of the once proud fishing boat is now only remnants of metal and wood back. The boat was that one of the seven traditional Portuguese fishing boats, destroyed during a performance at MAAT – Museu de Arte, Arquitetura e Tecnologia in Lisbon in March 2017. It is these seven types of boats are disappearing in Portugal, due to industrial fishing and strings international rules for this.
An adaptation of the performance is presented in the adjacent room. Here we see how men wearing overalls and helmets with rhythmic hammer smashes the seven boats apart and leave piles of waste, scraps of wood and metal in the exhibition space.
Refugee Crisis and migration
The work’s jarring, political comments on the consequences of a globalized international market economy also creates a number of issues, which also includes the current refugee crisis. It is inevitable at the sight of the destroyed boat not also reflect on the large number of refugees who die while crossing the Mediterranean, and to consider the shocking images that appear in the media of overcrowded and unsafe boats when they sink.
The perspective is reinforced by the knowledge that Zamora has chosen to employ unemployed immigrants to perform the task of smashing the boats. This particular detail acts as a relevant and timely critique of inequality in our contemporary world, but also a comment on the way migration can be used as a tool for social transformation.
Briefly about Héctor Zamora
Héctor Zamora was born in 1974 in Mexico City. He was over nine years living in Sao Paolo, Brazil, but now lives and works in Lisbon, Portugal. Zamora is world renowned for its large art projects in public space, this could include mentioned Errant by Tamunduateí River, Sao Paolo, Brazil, in 2010 and Muegano, New Zealand, 2012. He has had major solo exhibitions at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2016, Labor Gallery, Mexico City, 2013 and Redcat, Los Angeles, 2012, participated in several biennials in particular Istanbul, Venice, Sao Paolo and Cairo.