Héctor Bourges: Desorganizar La Mimesis / Disorganizing Mimesis

Héctor Bourges: Desorganizar La Mimesis / Disorganizing Mimesis

Wed May 13, 7:30pm In the Lounge, FREE

Gallery at REDCAT presents: 

Héctor Bourges: Desorganizar la Mimesis / Disorganizing Mimesis


In this lecture-performance, Héctor Bourges, a member of the Mexico City-based artistic collective Teatro Ojo, combines a series of gestures with images of historical events that have influenced the Mexican national identity project. Bourges explores a variety of staging forms and modes of performance (such as nahualismo, masks, metamorphosis, ventriloquism) to reveal common strategies of political powers. 

Bourges states the following about Disorganizing Mimesis:

“Five images of a radical theatricality: a flayed/flayer god; a talking cross that incites a silent indigenous uprising which lasted a hundred years; a skeleton of the last Aztec emperor made from the bones of birds, deer, dogs and a woman’s skull; the corpse of Emperor Montezuma talks to his people through a sinister act of ventriloquism; Subcomandante Marcos is unmasked by the Mexican government in 1995... and he turns out to be the son of a furniture dealer.... ‘Long ago we used to believe in masks, but now we know that it was only adults in disguise,’ some say. ‘Man is the animal,’ responds a smiling Tzotzil Indian when interviewed by an anthropologist and asked about the nature of nahuales, shamans capable of transforming themselves into animals. How do magic secrets and nahualismo operate in 21st century politics? We must go back in time in order to explain such a power among us.... ‘Man’s ability to transform himself, which has given him so much power over other creatures, has barely been examined or understood. It is one of the greatest enigmas: everyone has this power and uses it, and it is considered perfectly natural, but very few realize that the best in them comes from it,’ says Elias Canetti.[1] What are those hidden or distorted voices -among us- appearing within the process of such transformation?”.

Héctor Bourges is member of Teatro Ojo, an artistic collective from Mexico City founded in 2002. Teatro Ojo’s most important projects are the installation Xipe Tótec, Ponte en mi pellejo (Put yourself in my shoes), Belluard Bollwerk International Festival, Fribourg, Switzerland (2012) and Lo que viene (Forthcoming), a stage project at El GaleónTheatre, INBA, Mexico City (2012). Teatro Ojo's work is also included in group exhibitions at the Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid (2014) and at the Alhóndiga in Bilbao, Spain (2014). In 2011 Teatro Ojo received the gold medal for best Theatre Architecture and Performance Space in the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space.

RSVP appreciated: redcatrsvp@calarts.edu

[1] Elias Canetti. Masa y poder (Masse und Macht). Muchnik Editores: Barcelona, 1981, p 431. 

This lecture is part of a series of public programs leading to the upcoming project Palabras Ajenas at REDCAT, a proposal that revisits Argentine artist León Ferrari’s 1965 landmark piece of the same name. The research and curatorial line of this project includes a series of lectures and presentations that contextualize Ferrari’s work historically and further investigate his processes and working method and related topics and issues.

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