Blogging Blaffer

A Surreal, Cautionary Portrait of a Place

Hector Zamora, Brasil, 2013. Bricks and metal bicycle. Collection of Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson, 21c Museum
Hector Zamora, Brasil, 2013. Bricks and metal bicycle. Collection of Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson, 21c Museum

Thanks to all who joined us yesterday’s opening reception for Buildering: Misbehaving the City. Free mimosas and brunch fare make for about as civilized a way to kick off an exhibition as we can think of, and we hope everyone who came had as much fun checking out Buildering as we did showing it off.

So far in Blogging Blaffer we’ve sampled video works by Egle Budvytyte and Ivan Argote that reflect Buildering‘s performative character. But the exhibition also has a strong sculptural contingent. Brasil, a 2013 work by Mexico City-born, Sao Paolo-based artist Hector Zamora, functions as an affectionate, if cautionary, site-specific portrait of his adopted country, which Zamora has spent the past seven years watching race to join the ranks of the developing world.

“As executives dream big and workers peddle bikes, this work reflects the precarious dichotomy of said desire, carrying what (Zamora) calls ‘the weight of a delirious composition of progress,'” exhibition curator Steven Matijcio writes. “In his mind, transportation is a requisite skill of the 21st century citizen, and it is often one reflective of class division, civic design, and infrastructural stability. The bicycle inhabits this discourse as a basic instrument of manual laborers, and a symbol of the crucial balance one must have to ride, peddle, and successfully navigate the course of city life.”

By precariously burdening the bicycle with an enormous load of native mud bricks, Zamora issues a warning to “a country he sees running before it can walk,” Matijcio writes. “Rather than speeding hastily into the ‘first world’ with shaky structural foundations, he implores both people and place to pause –- freezing the bike in place to cease the reckless sprint forward.”







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