For the New Zealand International Arts Festival, The Dowse presents So It Vanishes, an installation by Mexican artist Teresa Margolles. Margolles, who represented Mexico at the 2009 Venice Biennale, is internationally renowned for evoking challenging ideas in beautiful ways, exploring the fragility in all of us. So It Vanishes opens on 25th February and runs until 17 June, 2012.
‘The power of art scares me so much. I realised that I didn’t know how to talk about human loss, human pain. I thought my own pain was the most important, but then I discovered that there is a collective pain,’ Teresa Margolles
At The Dowse, an empty room containing only ethereal bubbles invites you to play. Pleasure may turn to horror however when visitors discover the bubbles hold an essence of water from a city morgue; ‘the stigma of death turns the beautiful into the horrific’ (Amanda Coulson, Frieze). Curator Claudia Arozqueta says, ‘So It Vanishes explores memory more than death by giving mourning to anonymous corpses and reminding us of the magic of being alive.’
Teresa Margolles is one of the foremost artists of her generation. She currently lives and works in Mexico City but was born in 1963 in Sinaloa, a Mexican state in western Mexico where crimes and drug trade have increase dramatically in recent years. Since the early nineties, Margolles has used a variety of media, sculpture, video, photograph, audio and painting, to research the physical and psychological transformation of the body after death, what she calls “the life of the corpse”. She has immersed herself in morgues; her laboratory, studio and material’s source for some of her works. Margolles works only with the bodies of those who have suffered a violent death in an attempt to return to these anonymous corpses their individuality. She uses poetic and minimal gestures that connect the victims with the symbolic remains of their bodies.
Margolles has exhibited extensively all over the world, including solo, group shows and at major biennales, such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2010), the Manifesta 7, Bolzano (2008), the Liverpool Biennial (2006), The Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf, Germany (2007), La Colección Jumex, Mexico (2007) and Kunsthalle Krems, Austria (2008).
Curator Claudia Arozqueta is also from Mexico City. Before moving to Wellington she lived in Moscow where she curated Crossing Boundaries, II Moscow Biennale of Young Art, (2010) and Manimal, National Centre for Contemporary Arts/International University Moscow, (2009). Claudia's writing has been published in many international arts publications and she is currently Curator and Manager of Wellington’s Enjoy Gallery.