Installation Views of The Silence of Ordinary Things and Milena Bonilla: Low-Intensity Operations, 2015. Photo Credit: Kelly Barrie.
The Silence of Ordinary Things
Curated by Cesar Garcia with Jamie Shi
Conceived as a visual essay woven from a multiplicity of stories, The Silence of Ordinary Things is a group exhibition broadly inspired by the work of The Mistake Room's 2015 Artist Honoree, Isaac Julien. The show unfolds as a series of focused snapshots composed through works that explore the dichotomy between the world of man and the natural environment; the presence and echoes of history in the now; the inherent nature of the political in the poetic; the representation of beauty and the body in the image; the impacts of the circulation of labor and capital in the digital age; and the revealing yet subtle qualities of the ordinary and the everyday.
The exhibition encompasses two consecutive parts: the first, a show of works donated by more than 30 artists from around the world in support of The Mistake Room's ambitious program; the second, a series of time-based works, projects, and conversations that extend the anchoring ideas introduced in the first half of the exhibition. Through a choreography of voices and positions; of affinities and frictions, The Silence of Ordinary Things is a timely reflection on the poignant contradictions that define our current moment.
Milena Bonilla: Low-Intensity Operations
Curated by Victor Albarracin
Low-Intensity Operations is the Colombia-born, Amsterdam-based artist Milena Bonilla's first solo show in the United States. The exhibition brings together, for the first time, various bodies of work produced by Bonilla over the past decade that trace interactions between nature, politics and cultural production. Since the early 2000's, Bonilla's work has explored the dichotomy of the Aristotelian categories of Physis (nature) and Logos (reason). An impossible desire to exert control over this relationship results in political armatures that, above all, seek to limit interactions between systems of living entities. Through a rich repetoire of Marxist references, Kafkian absurdity, and scientific witchcraft, Bonilla opens spaces of revolt to stand against this structural separation between the master and the beast. By using a heterogeneous lexicon that joins science, literature, economy and architecture, her work generates uncanny maps and improbable free zones where every surge becomes a sort of insurgency. In this tension between macro-political brutality and pervasive gestures of natural and linguistic resistance, Bonilla confronts our biased considerations distinguishing life, thought and action. Bonilla has articulated an expansive narrative through her projects, which this exhibition makes legible for the first time. Low-Intensity Operations stages her installations, including two newly commissioned works, as if they were chapters of a single book about life-form, power, territory-making and language-presenting them as a connected exploration.