Zona Maco positions Mexico as Latin America’s cultural hub

Zona Maco: Interdisciplinary art in Mexico City
English 06/02/2020 18:44 EL UNIVERSAL in English/Miranda Perea Mexico City Actualizada 19:52

Mexico City’s art week has become a cultural referent in Latin America and the world

Piece by artist Fabián Ugalde

EL UNIVERSAL in English/Miranda Perea

Zona Maco: Interdisciplinary art in Mexico City

"Without Title" by Daniel Samper, series " Volumetric Geometry

EL UNIVERSAL in English/Miranda Perea

Zona Maco: Interdisciplinary art in Mexico City

Performance at Galería Freijo's booth

EL UNIVERSAL in English/Miranda Perea

Zona Maco: Interdisciplinary art in Mexico City

Neon lights by Eduardo Secci

EL UNIVERSAL in English/Miranda Perea

Zona Maco: Interdisciplinary art in Mexico City

Zona Maco will take place at Centro Citibanamex

EL UNIVERSAL in English/Miranda Perea

Zona Maco: Interdisciplinary art in Mexico City

Zona Maco gathers over 200 galleries from 26 countries

EL UNIVERSAL in English/Miranda Perea

Zona Maco: Interdisciplinary art in Mexico City

Alzer 65 Monogram at Louis Vuitton's booth

EL UNIVERSAL in English/Miranda Perea

Zona Maco: Interdisciplinary art in Mexico City

There are over 60 galleries in the Contemporary Art section

EL UNIVERSAL in English/Miranda Perea

Zona Maco: Interdisciplinary art in Mexico City

"Brooms Tissue" by Trine Ellistagaard

EL UNIVERSAL in English/Miranda Perea

Zona Maco: Interdisciplinary art in Mexico City

"My First Portable Cassette Tape Recorder" by Manuel Rocha Iturbide

EL UNIVERSAL in English/Miranda Perea

Zona Maco: Interdisciplinary art in Mexico City

Piece at Maia Contemporary's booth

EL UNIVERSAL in English/Miranda Perea

Zona Maco: Interdisciplinary art in Mexico City

"Crowded Waters: Rio Grande, 2018" by Seol Park

EL UNIVERSAL in English/Miranda Perea

Zona Maco: Interdisciplinary art in Mexico City

Wooden sculpture by Reynaldo Velázquez - Fundación Cultural Mario Uvence

EL UNIVERSAL in English/Miranda Perea

Zona Maco: Interdisciplinary art in Mexico City

This year, there will be four fairs in Zona Maco: Contemporary Art, Design, Salón (antiques), and Photo

EL UNIVERSAL in English/Miranda Perea

Zona Maco: Interdisciplinary art in Mexico City

The art fair promises a comprehensive experience and also an offer of performances, exhibitions, and conferences

EL UNIVERSAL in English/Miranda Perea

Zona Maco: Interdisciplinary art in Mexico City

Copper curtain at Hechizoo Colombia's booth

EL UNIVERSAL in English/Miranda Perea

Zona Maco: Interdisciplinary art in Mexico City

Mexico has been recognized as one of the most important culinary, financial and cultural centers in the world. With a vast list of internationally renowned artists who have been highly influential in the development of art, Mexico has long been a cultural hub also sought after by artists abroad due to its particular combination of art history and promotion.

Following this tradition, Mexico City is on par with cities like London, Buenos Aires, Madrid, and Paris in artistic terms. It has a wide variety of museums and galleries that display all kinds of artistic expressions, such as paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs, ceramics, antiques, textiles, and jewelry, to mention some of them.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Una publicación compartida de ZⓢONAMACO M Arte Contemporáneo (@zonamaco) el

Moreover, Mexico City is always full of artistic events that further promote the appreciation of different arts and artists, both national and international. One of the most notorious and expected ones is the so-called “art week” that takes place in the first week of February; a time when museums hold special activities and galleries open their doors to the public.

This artistic circuit was created 17 years ago with Zona Maco, which is currently the most important contemporary art event in Mexico and has become a referent in Latin America.

Zona Maco 2020: Interdisciplinary art in Mexico City

Created by Zélika García, Zona Maco art fair has helped erase the stigma around contemporary art up to the point that an art circuit with alternative and independent events related to it has emerged around this circuit.
 

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Fragment of piece by artist Fabián Ugalde - Photo: Miranda Perea/EL UNIVERSAL in English
 

Zona Maco is the largest fair platform in Latin America, founded in 2002 by Zélika García. It holds four different annual events at Centro Citibanamex in Mexico City: Zona Maco Mexico, which brings together leading and emerging national and international art galleries; Zona Maco Design, established in 2011, which exhibits furniture, jewelry, textiles, limited editions, and decorative objects; Zona Maco Salon, established in 2014, which exhibits antiques, and finally, Zona Maco Photo, established in 2015, that features vintage, modern, and contemporary photography with the purpose of including and encouraging the design, antiques, and photography sectors in Mexico. This is the first time all four fairs are brought together at the same time.

Founder Zélika García said that “‘We are proud to inform that the four fairs from Zona Maco will take place simultaneously; we consider that it’s a great move to gather world-renowned exhibitors in one place so they can exhibit art, design, photography, and antiques. This will be the first time we feature Foro, a new section created to foster “mid-career” galleries in Zona Maco.”

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This year, Zona Maco chose renowned fair-planning studio Tom Postma Design from the Netherlands, as well as the Mexican firm Salinas Lasheras, which were in charge of designing the different restaurants and lounge areas with the purpose of offering a better experience for exhibitors and visitors.
 

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Neon art at Zona Maco - Photo: Miranda Perea/EL UNIVERSAL in English
 

Last year, the art fair that gathers collectors, art experts, and enthusiasts, received over 60,000 visitors. Throughout its history, Zona Maco has featured artists like Ai Weiwei, Anish Kapoor, and Jaume Plensa and has also showcased controversial installations such as Gabriel Orozco’s “Oroxxo.”

For its 2020 edition, Zona Maco will take place from February 5 to 9 at Centro Citibanamex. The contemporary art fair will gather over 200 galleries from 26 countries. Tania Ragasol, artistic director of the fair, said that there are over 60 galleries in the Contemporary Art section that includes other sub-sections such as Forum with 17 galleries, New Proposals with 21, and Solo with 12. There will also be over 20 galleries in Zona Maco Photo and nearly 30 in Design.

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“More than fearing the creation of other art fairs that have generated in Mexico, we think that we are part of a circuit with Zona Maco at the head,” Ragasol said in a news conference.

“We think that everything is worthy; if you plan your days, you can see all the high-quality things taking place in the city,” she added in reference to other activities that will take place during the art week, such as inaugurations in museums and galleries.

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"Sad and Worried Animals" by artist Olaf Breuning - Photo: Miranda Perea/EL UNIVERSAL in English
 

In words of the curator, this year the fair promises a comprehensive experience that gathers the four fairs and also an offer of sub-sections, performances, exhibitions.

In addition, Zona Maco 2020 has a nurtured program of parallel activities, with exhibitions held in the most relevant museums and galleries in the country. Furthermore, the fair features a section of specialized publications, bringing together the most relevant publishers of art and photography books in Mexico, the United States, and Europe.

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“The challenge is for visitors – over 60,000 last year – to not only see contemporary art but to have a wider experience. I like talking with people about how they visit the fair; it’s not only for you to enter and leave, there’s a lot to see; it’s an opportunity to see galleries from three continents: Europe, Asia, and America. The architectonic plan to achieve this is a nice experience both for visitors and galleries. There are books, conferences, exhibitions; there’s a menu so that it is not an in-and-out experience.”
 

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Sculpture by artist Reynaldo Velázquez - Photo: Miranda Perea/EL UNIVERSAL in English
 

About collecting in Mexico, the curator said that it has grown in the city in many ways; some are institutional and corporative collections, others are private with a social responsibility commitment. Also, she said, there is the case of those who buy art but not precisely as collectors. And each fair that has been created in the city has a very established profile of galleries, artists, and collectors. “As professionals, I think that Zona Maco has collaborated to break barriers and to lose the fear of how to start a collection,” she asserted.

As in every year, Zona Maco will also develop a broad Conference Program with internationally renowned guests that will address current and art-related topics, such as feminism and migration, that are key issues reflected in Latin American art and its role shaping art in the world.

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An example of the influence of feminism in contemporary art is the work by the Peruvian artist Ana De Orbegoso whose interdisciplinary art practice explores different aspects of the individual or social psyche through the use of popular iconography and staged situations. Her aim is to confront the viewer with a mirror, so as to spark recognition, thought and memory. De Orbegoso has been politically active in women’s rights issues and so her “Feminist Projections” project addresses issues related to violence against women through a feminist eye.
 

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"Power Vests" by artist Ana De Orbegoso - Photo: Miranda Perea/EL UNIVERSAL in English
 

Hand in hand with the RoFa projects gallery, a contemporary art platform with an emphasis on the research of Latin American artists focused on different perspectives of worldwide sociopolitical processes, Ana Orbegoso’s work at Zona Maco, “Power Vests,” consists of a series of handmade vests, “a kind of armor with affirmations and statements that a woman lives daily. In the same way that a woman dresses with the intention of reflecting a message, we must dress mentally with a daily statement that keeps us on track in our struggle.” For De Orbegoso “the best way we can move forward to achieve equal rights is to be united and include this sorority in our daily discourse.” Likewise, RoFa projects asserts that “this proposal reflects on the resistance and resilience that women have to use to confront adversity and emphasizes women as the key to the development of society.”

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Una publicación compartida de Ana De Orbegoso (@anadeorbegoso) el

In this vein, Zona Maco’s program includes conferences with feminist and trans activists and artists that will address some practices that challenge the status quo entrenched in colonial and hetero-patriarchal dynamics, examining how the different alliances between art, activism, feminism or queer thinking shape a series of very specific art practices with the objective of analyzing how the assimilation of queer and feminist discourses in global contexts evolve into profitable and productive events and how this new movement has permeated the system of contemporary art, establishing new protocols for the representation of women and gender minorities in museums, art biennials, and fairs.

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On the other hand, artists at Zona Maco 2020 also address migration-related issues, like Korean artist Seol Park does with the sculpture titled “The Rose” and the painting called “Crowded Waters, Rio Grande.” Her sculpture starts as barbed wire and slowly turns into a thorny vine and in the end, it glooms.
 

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"The Rose" by artist Seol Park - Photo: Miranda Perea/EL UNIVERSAL in English
 

Park mentioned that “Along with the painting, [the sculpture] is depicting the people who are overcoming barriers to pursue a new life that will eventually bloom in a new land. Central American migrants are trying to get to the U.S. through the river because of the land borders that are already blocked, so they are trying to reach safety one way or another.” and thus she wanted to portray their courage and their strength in this journey that has become a world humanitarian crisis.
 

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“Crowded Waters, Rio Grande” by artist Seol Park - Photo: Miranda Perea/EL UNIVERSAL in English
 

Zona Maco also features collaboration projects between high-end brands and Mexican indigenous communities, such as the case of Louis Vuitton with a Zapotec community in Oaxaca. Artisans intervened iconic Louis Vuitton trunks, portfolios, and purses with traditional paintings of nahuales, animals that represent a spiritual link to nature, included in a Zapotec ritual calendar. Each piece requires three weeks of collective work that includes the creation of models, sketches, drawings, and paintings. Louis Vuitton invited the community to make a collaboration with the haute-couture brand and they found out they have very similar high-quality standards and processes focused on handmade designs.

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Zona Maco also includes mixed material pieces that combine materials like metal, textiles, plastic, and wood and innovative installations such as the one in Art Lexïng’s booth called “The Sun Circle of Cura” created by Elvin Nabizade, an artist from Azerbaijan that is known for using musical instruments in his pieces.
 

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“The Sun Circle of Cura” created by Elvin Nabizade - Photo: Miranda Perea/EL UNIVERSAL in English
 

The most important contemporary art fair in Latin America features a wide variety of artists and galleries from Mexico, Latin America, Europe, and Asia such as Fundación Cultural Mario Uvence (Chiapas), Yusto Giner (Marbella), Hechizoo Colombia (Bogotá), Cactus Fine Art (Mexico City), La Galería Rebelde (Guatemala), Cohju Contemporary Art (Kyoto), Galería Freijo (Madrid), Galería Quetzalli (Oaxaca), Galería Hispánica, and Lisson Gallery (London)

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