ario García Torres, The Way They Looked at Each Other, n/d. Photo: Nik Wheelr / Alamy

Mario García Torres, The Way They Looked at Each Other, n/d. Photo: Nik Wheelr / Alamy

An Arrival Tale is an exhibition that pretends to use a number of my works from the TBA21 collection to argue that the space of arrival, the space where one can reinvent oneself, could be an interesting one, and one that has historically been a space to thrive.”
–Mario García Torres

Appropriation, storytelling, and reenactment, are some of the strategies that Mexican artist Mario García Torres uses to uncover (hidden) histories, narratives, and strategies embedded in sites and places, in order to highlight the limitations of factual evidence and the agency of historical records and objects. An Arrival Taledetaches the works by the artist in the Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary collection from their original contexts and descriptions and offers them as a collection of narratives and artistic experiments open for reinscription. The exhibition seeks to collect, describe, and complicate narratives of transplantation, pointing to migrations, displacements, relocations, and resettlements, which span both time and disparate geographies.

What are the actual conditions and what are the dreams, what are the politics housed in the bodies of the people moving, what is left behind, and what is met anew? Is arrival a fresh start, or is it implicitly haunted by challenges of absence and disembodiment? The gesture of reimagining the frame of the exhibition itself is intended to open up new possible readings, thus allowing for speculation on the possibilities of reinvention and transcendence. The concept is signposted loosely by two narrative arguments—the moments of arrival and the return—manifested through two specific artworks: the former through Tea and the latter through a new commission titled The Way They Looked at Each Other, exploring an existing body of research originally investigated for an essay by García Torres published in Frieze in 2012. Like much of García Torres’s work, the exhibition itself questions narratives, both by looking back and complicating historical descriptions and by looking forward and projecting new possibilities. It is a sort of twisted archaeology of García Torres’s own practice, thus allowing his works made at different times to be read within the context of the political sphere and human experience.

An Arrival Tale was conceived in light of TBA21’s engagements with the contemporary refugee crisis and, more generally, within the condition of continuous global migration and displacement. The conceptual gesture of re-imagining stories is not an attempt to diminish the scope of trauma inherent in the process of migration but rather is an investigative proposition to think specifically about the nexus of departure, arriving, and returning, tropes deeply invested within the notion of exile. Developed in dialogue with migrants and asylum seekers in Austria, the exhibition allows for an exploration of the reality, imagination, and overall complexity of the trajectories of displacement and movement, temporarily revisiting times and spaces that are imagined, embodied, occupied, constructed, inhabited, left behind, and traversed.

Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary
Scherzergasse 1A
1020 Vienna
Austria

www.tba21.org

 

Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary
Scherzergasse 1A
1020 Vienna
Austria

www.tba21.org

Pin It on Pinterest