This autumn the CuMMA seminars and Discourse Series will mostly be taking place inside David Muoz’s exhibition, contributing to his research and vice versa.
David Muoz – Nomad Agency/Archive of Emergent Studies
Curated by Nora Sternfeld and Hanna Ohtonen
24 Sept.-28 Nov. 2014
Opening: 23 Sept. 2014, 6:00 p.m.
NODE Space, Aalto Arts, Hämeentie 135 C, 5th Floor, 00560 Helsinki
What could a space for emergent studies and critical knowledge production within the art department of a University look like? How can we conceive of research and artistic practice as unruly agencies within a public institution? In addressing these difficult questions, David Muoz creates a gap as well as a laboratory. He invites us into the universe of his research project that reflects on the intersections and frictions between learning and acting, theories and affects, history and politics.
The installation at NODE Space gives insight into Muoz’s ongoing research on the resilience and fragility of power. The works presented explore the concept of the ‘milestone’ and reflect on monuments as containers of memories, as moments of sedimented politics, of needs and desires, of contestation, and of denial.
Muoz enters into the topic through discussing two cases of monumental unrest: The Statue of Miguel Aleman (1952) at the Autonomous National University of Mexico (UNAM) and the Alexander II Monument (1894) at the Senate square in Helsinki. His investigation juxtaposes these two highly symbolically charged monuments, which are also records of political contradictions within specific periods of socio-historical transitions. Gazing into their shadows, the artist reconstructs the target of demands and the attempts at the removal of the monuments to encourage us to reflect on the physical void and the absence of significance. The work stems from an archival excavation that links a personal understanding of the narrations of historical events and repositioning conceptual relations through appropriating new meanings in order to open up space for new reflections.
The starting point for the installation are these two connected and divided contexts that he places in a research environment—a growing space for shared reading and debate—in which questions are raised that create a perspective to see different relations to the archive and to political practice. It is as much an exhibition as it is an invitation to partake in a process with an open outcome, and to read and think together.
The exhibition was conceived within the context of the CuMMA seminar “Theoretical Frameworks in Curating and Mediating Art”, which investigates conceiving curatorial, artistic and educational strategies as public intellectual practices. The seminar readings, lectures and discussions both take place and leave traces in the space.
David Muoz (MX, 1979). Visual artist, architect and designer based in Helsinki and Mexico City. Graduated from the School of Arts, Design and Architecture of Aalto University in Finland (2012), and from the National Autonomous University of México, UNAM (2003). He is the founder of the artistic research platform NAES, Nomad Agency- Archive of Emergent Studies and a Doctoral Candidate at Aalto University in Finland.
His artwork takes the form of critical interventions, playing with different levels of transparencies as resources to unveil and question the passive way with which the hegemonic strategies are accepted. By confronting layers of truths, myths and realities, his work encounters an exploration on the modes that the social memory crystallizes into material facts, as common imaginary sets constituted by a historical memory in play with social and political forms of identification, mediation and prevention.