June 11, 2019

Miguel Calderon @ kurimanzutto, Mexico City - Pleasure Afterwards

Miguel Calderón: Pleasure Afterwards
kurimanzutto, Mexico City
Through July 27, 2019

Miguel Calderon
Untitled, 2017 
Courtesy of the artist and kurimanzutto, Mexico City / New York

kurimanzutto presents Pleasure Afterwards, a new solo exhibition by Miguel Calderón in which the artist brings together sculpture and video works that are interrelated and delve into events of his life. Calderón also includes a series of watercolors made in parallel to the main works in the show, which dive into his unconscious to produce alarmingly unsettling imagery. 

Miguel Calderon’s exhibition takes its title from the most recent video he directed in Mexico City, Pleasure Afterwards, which lies somewhere between documentary and fiction. Several of the pieces are connected to the artist’s search to integrate his personal experiences into his work by wandering through the city as he incorporates known and fictional characters, as well as objects that have marked his memory. 

Just after the earthquake of September 19, 2017 that struck Mexico City, Miguel Calderón established a close relationship with the maintenance staff of the Cibeles Fountain, an encounter that inspired part of this project. The video narrates a series of events told by a real character who also reenacts them. Presented along with the video work are a series of objects directly linked to the content of the film.  Amulets for an Earthquake, uses extreme irony in its depiction of the practical solution adopted by the staff in charge of the fountain in order to feel safe in a city that had just suffered an earthquake of tragic proportions.

A series of photographs also shown in the exhibition space were originated from the video Plenty of Nothingness. In it the artist presents a more abstract vision of disaster by means of a journey along an infinite sinkhole made from video clippings of news archives. Through these photographs, Miguel Calderón shows his fascination for the aesthetics of disaster and the absurd forms reality can take in a country prone to daily catastrophes.

A series of watercolors with a more expressive tone, and which seem to occupy a different mental space, are presented in orbit around these works. These watercolors depict figures of the artist's unconscious, visions of the external world that he assimilates and reconsiders in meditative exercises that disconnect him from the research undertaken for the other works. His vision of society and the expression of his experiences combine together in images that go from the ridiculous to the macabre, and through this process reveal emotional sincerity in the carefree style that has become characteristic of the artist.


Miguel Calderón received his BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1994. He has been the recipient of the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation Grant & Commissions program (2013), The MacArthur Fellowship for Film and New Media (2000), and the Bancomer/Rockefeller Fellowship (1995).

His most important solo exhibitions include: Miguel Calderón: Independientemente de con quien duerma, Fototeca Latinoamericana, Buenos Aires (2017); Color Bleed, Rochester Art Center, Rochester, New York (2012); Miguel Calderón, solo project, Casa América, Madrid, Spain (2010); Conversations with a Tropical Vulture, with George Kuchar, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco (2010); Bestseller, Panorámica, Museo Tamayo, Mexico City (2009); Ridiculum Vitae, La Panadería, Mexico City, Mexico (1998). Additionally, he has participated in group shows at the following institutions: Museo Amparo, Puebla, Mexico (2014); Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California (2014); The Foundation Cartier, Paris, France (2013); Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporaneo (MUAC), Mexico City, Mexico (2011); The Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, California (2011); Museo Universitario del Chopo, Mexico City, Mexico (2010); Museum Moderner Kunst (MUMOK), Vienna, Austria (2009); National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Poland (2007); Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, United States (2007), PS1 Contemporary Art Center, New York, United States (2002), among others.

Miguel Calderón has participated in various biennials, including: 7th Internationale Photo-Triennial, Esslingen, Germany (2007); Bussan Biennale, Bussan, Korea (2006); Sharja Biennial 7, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (2005), Yokohama Triennale of Contemporary Art, Yokohama, Japan (2005); ARCO, Madrid, Spain (1998).

Miguel Calderón currently lives and works in Mexico City, Mexico.

Gob. Rafael Rebollar 94
Col. San Miguel Chapultepec
11850 Mexico City