Nothing represents Melanie Smith’s poetics better than the way she has based her critique of modernity and contemporary practice on the recurrence of expressions, motifs, and aesthetic and formal effects that unfold and come together in social contexts where they would normally seem out of place. Her work explores the way these ‘surviving images’ are latent in the vital and existential forms of places that tend to be read merely in terms of their exoticism. In the context of Mexican contemporary art, the work of Melanie Smith (England, 1965) can be seen as a deconstructive and genealogical exercise on the history of Western art. From Minimal art to the Surrealism of Edward James, from Diego Rivera’s murals to the paintings of Bosch and Brueghel, for this artist the aesthetic function of art history relates to the way in which memory and the present are intertwined in the materiality of art.
José Luis Barrios is a philosopher and art historian. Lecturer at the Universidad Iberoamericana and at the Universidad Autónoma de México, and associate curator at the Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo (MuAC).
Melanie Smith: Farce and Artifice. Photo: Miquel Coll
MONDAY 17 SEPTEMBER 7 pm Venue: Forum Convent dels Àngels Admission: Free. Advanced booking required