Performance, Letterpress, Site specific            

La Ley
A project for ENCURA
Hecha la ley hecha la trampa
curated by Maykson Cardoso

Hecha la ley, hecha la trampa
[Laws are Made to Be Broken, or: Smuggling as Alternative]

In 1926, Constantin Brancusi had an exhibition at the Brummer Gallery in New York for which he sent twenty-six sculptures from France. When the sculptures arrived at US customs, the officers inspected them and insisted that Bird in Space should pay import taxes, because both the bronze –the material used for its manufacture– and its shape did not leave them room for doubt that they were dealing with an industrial object and not a work of art. If this example, in fact, sheds light on the obsession the artist had on a finish that would erase the marks of his workmanship –as Rosalind Krauss points out in Passages in Modern Sculpture–, he also demonstrates that customs also operate as a control device that not only regulates the movement of goods between countries, but can also decide what is and what is not a work of art, through questionable criteria from the point of view of the theory and critique of art.

First, Hecha la ley, hecha la trampa, had the goal to test and check those border control devices by experiencing the smuggling contemporary art. Second, it also proposed to revive an alternative proposed by Lucy Lippard at the end of the 70’s, the “suitcase shows”, a series of conceptual art exhibitions that could be moved across countries simply as luggage. The planning to make these premises possible was designed in order to invite artists that could be interested to participate in a project that was dealing with the border concept, move the works from Brazil to Spain, inside luggage, and sold them in several exhibition actions that would take place during my residency –since only sales on one side of the border will confer those works the status of contraband. At the end, seven artists joined the proposal from Brazil.

Andrea Gómez named her project La Ley and made a series of letterpress postcards with quotes extracted from the texts that we read during our research, making special reference to the subject of borders. The ink contained Cochinilla and mdma. She invited Kentaro Terajima to play a techno session while printing. The sound of the music blended with the rithmic sound of the letterpress machines. It was a gathering, a listening experience, the act of printing itself turned into a kind of ritualistic situation.

The texts printed on the postcards were:

Allow the object to speak
Absence of statistics
Distorted cartography
of the middle ground
Minor ethnographies
and shipwrecked narratives
The limits of

Here you can find Kentaro’s session for La Ley.