press release

10.03.2018 — 26.05.2018

Claudia Segura, Jennifer Burris, MAMBO.

The site-specific and time-based works by artist María José Arjona (Colombia, 1973) situate performance as a fluid structure through which language and movement, body and document, come together as personalized poetics.

Representing twenty years of work, this mid-career survey occupies the museum in its totality. Rather than follow a chronological presentation of works, the exhibition’s five chapters take on the image of the pendulum as a way to understand the cyclical nature of Arjona’s practice. Cast into motion, this gravitational pull returns the artist’s focus to a recurrent set of questions as she moves between diverse environments, mediums, and contexts: arriving each time at a different answer, or an alternative means of expression. The chapter titles – While in the City; While in the Woods; While In-Between; While on Earth / While in the Air; While in the Air / While on Earth – emphasize both the mythic nature of Arjona’s cosmology as well as the conditions of becoming and reiteration in her work.

By exploring how we occupy states of transition (“while in”), the exhibition focuses on those processes of change from exterior to interior, darkness to light, and concrete to ephemeral. Sculptural objects, live actions, photographs, videos, installations, and sound works are shown in dialogue with fragments of text that fluctuate from the metaphoric to the directive. Drawing is emphasized as both a necessary device and a thought process intrinsic to the development of Arjona’s physical actions. During the course of the exhibition, she will enact these works in different areas of the museum as well as in its surrounding landscape. A group of invited artists, all trained in durational movement, will also re-activate select works previously performed by Arjona herself. This series of live actions creates situations wherein audiences can immerse themselves in those infinite spaces found between the sculptural and the corporeal, inhabiting the boundary between the fleeting and the eternal.