Mercedes Azpilicueta, The Wise Octopus | Kinky Affairs at Home, 2022, © Sammlung Philara, Düsseldorf, Photo: Kai Werner Schmidt
Mercedes Azpilicueta, The Old Dream of Symmetry, 2018-2019, Installation View, 2022, © Sammlung Philara, Düsseldorf, Photo: Kai Werner Schmidt
Mercedes Azpilicueta, Mama’s Casting a Spell, 2019, Video Still, © Sammlung Philara, Düsseldorf, Photo: Kai Werner Schmidt
In October 2023 Kunstverein Göttingen will host Mercedes Azpilicueta’s first institutional solo exhibition in Germany. The presentation will mine the Amsterdam based, Argentinian artist’s oeuvre spanning textiles, sculpture, video and performance in a playful but pointed dialogue with the historical exhibition space, Göttingen’s Old Town Hall.
Mercedes Azpilicueta’s material practice combines handcraft-based techniques—historically associated with domestic obsolete knowledge and bodily labour—with industrialised productions. She embeds research on oft overlooked characters from the past and present in her work to address the vulnerable or collective body from a decolonial feminist perspective. In a new work specific to Göttingen, Azpilicueta takes historical females figures connected to the city as an associative point of departure to counter the rigid narratives of history. This approach aids in presenting the multiplicity and subjectivity of history, allowing affective and dissident voices to emerge.
The exhibition will take place in the historical exhibition rooms of Göttingen’s medieval Old Town Hall, dating back to 1270 and situated on the central square. A coalescing relationship between the historically charged space and Azpilicueta’s non-linear, historical and pop culture associations forms part of the curatorial direction for the exhibition. The subversive theatricality and performativity of Azpilicueta’s practice is heightened by this architectural atmosphere. Much like the exhibition's two-way connection to its site of display, the artist lays bare how the body is both influenced by, and influential on culture and history in a matrix-like relationship of chronological and cultural distance.
Mercedes Azpilicueta’s supports Kunstverein Göttingen’s 2023 theme the body is a material mind in her linking of culture and the body. The artist the exemplifies how cultural and historical meaning is both inscribed and derived through the tactile of the bodily experience.
Curated by Sarah Crowe and Alke Heykes.