TYPOLOGY is thrilled to present a Featured Exhibition of the 2015 Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, THE NEW GODS, a cross-continental collaboration between Canadian artist Josée Pedneault (Montreal) and Mexican artist Alejandro Garcia Contreras (Mexico City). Featuring an extraordinary series of large-scale photographs, THE NEW GODS examines fantastical rites of spring that have emerged spontaneously within Carrillo Puerto, an isolated village in the mountains of Chiapas in southern Mexico. The exhibition will also include a select grouping of smaller sculptures and paintings as an extension of the photographic subject matter into other media, an experimental approach which is integral to this multidisciplinary collaboration.
Each spring for the past several years, Carrillo Puerto has undertaken a most unusual interpretation of the Via Crucis (Stations of the Cross), the religious tradition of reenacting the events leading up to Christ’s death on Good Friday. Elsewhere in Mexico it is a day of organized procession, penitence, and mourning, but in this small village it has evolved into an irreverent, chaotic, and carnivalesque celebration of the absurd. Drawing on an unholy mix of religious beliefs, local and popular culture, pagan traditions, and personal mythologies, participants don homemade costumes that are highly theatrical and transformative, often verging on pure abstraction. Through the adoption of new voices, gaits, and gestures as well, the chimerical personalities they assume become an alternate pantheon of strange deities and demons, existing in opposition to the highly codified characters and narratives of the traditional Passion play.
THE NEW GODS will be the first exhibition to feature the collaborative work of Alejandro Garcia Contreras and Josée Pedneault in Canada, and is Garcia Contreras’ first show in Toronto.
Click to download/print the media release below in PDF.
Thursday, May 7, 2015 from 6–8 pm
Join us for an opening reception with the artists, who will be traveling from Montreal and Mexico to be with us. Refreshments will be served and all are welcome!
TYPOLOGY Projects, No. 302, Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw Street, Toronto, ON M6J 2W5
See Google map of location
Exhibition-related events are in the works; subscribe to this blog for updates and invitations!
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Alejandro Garcia Contreras holds a Bachelor’s degree in visual art from the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. Since 2007 he has exhibited in the United States, Europe, Japan, and Peru. Venues in Mexico include the Museum of Modern Art, Centro Nacional de las Artes, and Museo Experimental “El Eco” in Mexico City; Museo de los Pintores Oaxaqueños (Oaxaca); and Centro Cultural Jaime Sabines in Tuxtla Gutierrez Chiapas. In 2008 Contreras co-founded the Laboratorio de Artes de Chiapas and in 2009 he joined Neter, an initiative promoting young Mexican artists locally and internationally. In 2013, he completed a residency/workshop program at Les Territoires in Montreal. Contreras has received awards from Artfest International (2006) and the FONCA Jovenes Creadores (2009, 2014).
Josée Pedneault holds an honours MFA in studio art from Concordia University, and since 2005 her photographs and installations have been shown in exhibitions and festivals in Canada, France, Poland, China, Cambodia and Luxembourg. In 2007 Pedneault received the People’s Choice Award at Le Mois de la photo in Montreal, and her work was included in a group exhibition in the Canadian Pavillion at the 2010 World’s Fair, Shanghai. Pedneault is co-founder and board president of Les Territoires, a non-profit organization that provides opportunities to emerging artists and curators. She also teaches photography at Concordia University.
Not local? Stay tuned for pics from the show and related events – it will be just like you were here! And thanks so much for your continued interest and support!
This exhibition is made possible by the Fondo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes (FONCA) of the National Council for Culture and the Arts, Mexico.
image: Josée Pedneault and Alejandro Garcia Contreras, from The New Gods series, 2013–2014