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Art at an old swimming club

The old "Club Condesa", the first women's swimming club in Mexico City, is now transformed into an experimental laboratory of a transitional art project
Photo: Iván Stephens/EL UNIVERSAL
18/06/2017
15:30
Sonia Sierra
Mexico City
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Last Thursday night, in the building that was the first women's swimming club in Mexico City, the exhibition “Umbrales del Tiempo” (Thresholds of Time) was inaugurated, where the old facilities of the place and utilitarian objects that marked its history were intervened by consecrated creators, some of them muralists, and young artists and designers in an exercise that seeks to end a period and open a new age of that place.

The walls, corridors, stairs, rooms, bathrooms, swimming pool, terraces and corners of the Club that operated until a year ago welcome from this Thursday, and until December, works by Miguel Ángel Peraza, Rafael Cauduro, Antonio Luquín, Eugenia Orozco, Olivia Barrionuevo, Ismael Ramos, Marco Zamudio and Narcissus Quagliata; around 15 well-known artists, 30 emerging and several urban collectives. Many of the pieces were created for the exhibition, an initiative coordinated by Antonio Cordero and Angelica Montes. The place is called “El Ahuehuete Espacio de Arte Transitorio” (The Ahuehuete Transitional Art Space)

Peraza exhibits ships from his most recent series. "People see boats, but in reality, they are ships that have to do with how to contribute or collaborate with the internal journeys of human beings, soul travels. And that these pieces of metal and wood can inspire other sailors, other travelers of time and space, encourage us to other latitudes.”

He presents two works from the series "Nervaduras de Viaje" (Travel ribs), one of them a great boat called the Mediterranean: "The wood as it is here has to do with how men connected themselves one island to another. The ocean doesn't divide us but it unites us, we all travel in one ship that is the Planet." His pieces were made during the last three or four years, Mediterranean is a work that took two years to create. The idea of the project is taking this series to the Maritime Museum of Bilbao and to the Museum of Sculptures in Holland.

Antonio Cordero commented that one of the focuses of the future project will be starting a foundation to promote new artistic talents in that same building, "The experiment was very successful, the great artists were very generous and the young people are delighted."

Water pipes, tables, doors, gas tanks, metal and wooden windows, some more than 100 years old - brought from haciendas from across the country -, oil drums from the Porfiriato period, giant metallic spheres, valves and lockers are part of the pieces where the artists make references to time, theme of the exhibition; this can be seen in works of young people like Ivardi, who drew on walls of an old room and whose proposal is of design as well as visual.

The site is located in 103 Tlaxcala Street, Colonia Roma. The old "Club Condesa", which was the first women's swimming club in Mexico City (1940), is a very important space not only for sports history, but also feminism in Mexico, and now it is transformed into an experimental laboratory of a transitional art project.

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