Teresa Margolles

1963 | Culiacán, Mexico
Informations

Mexican visual artist.

The work of Teresa Margolles is troubling and fascinating, questioning the borders between death and life. Her videos, installations and paintings transcend social taboos offering a reflection on violence, disappearance and their relationship to Mexican society. The artist first worked in a morgue in Mexico before founding the group Semefo (a name borrowed from the Mexico’s official forensic medical service), known for their controversial performances and installations in which fragments of cadavers and photographs of decomposing humans became recurring elements in her artistic investigations. Distancing herself from these raw and explicit early works as a simple documentary aspect, she distorted death and its causes and avoided exhibiting violence to implicitly play with the inconscient strength of the viewer’s imagination.

Made from the blood of the death, the water used to clean bodies and fragments of windshields gathered from crime scenes in Mexico, her works reveal what seems to have become the new everyday banality. T. Margolles reconnected with the aesthetic of minimal art to avoid reproducing barbarism in a society “already submerged in images of horror”. In 2009, she represented Mexico at the Venice Biennale with ¿De que otra cosa podriamos hablar?, an assemblage of elements selected from murder scenes committed by drug traffickers from Sinaloa in northern Mexico, close to the border with the United States.

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Chantal Béret

Translated from French by Katia Porro.

From the Dictionnaire universel des créatrices
© 2013 Des femmes – Antoinette Fouque
© Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions
Teresa Margolles — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Teresa Margolles, Esta finca no será demolida [This property will not be demolished], 2011, set of forty chromogenic color prints, 65.58 x 102.87 cm, Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, © Teresa Margolles

Teresa Margolles — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Teresa Margolles, 36 Cuerpos [Bodies], 2010, installation, remains of threads used during autopsies to sew the bodies of victims of a violent death, variable dimensions, © Teresa Margolles

Teresa Margolles — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Teresa Margolles, Bandera I [Flag I], 2009, fabric, blood, earth and other substances, 298 x 188 cm, Tate, © Teresa Margolles

Teresa Margolles — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Teresa Margolles, La Promesa [The Promise], 2012, sculptural block made from the pulverized rubble of a demolished house in Ciudad Juárez, Mexique, 15 tons, 55 x 80 x 1600 cm, Museo Universitario Arte Contemporan, © Teresa Margolles

Teresa Margolles — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Teresa Margolles, Pista de baile del club Apache [Dance Floor from the Apache Nightclub], 2016, pigmented inkjet print, 120 x 180 cm, MoMA, © Teresa Margolles

Teresa Margolles — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Teresa Margolles, Tela bordada [Embroidered fabric], 2012, traditional Mayan embroidery made on fabric by indigenous activists from Guatemala, 202 x 206 cm, Musée des beaux-arts du Canada, Ottawa, © Teresa Margolles

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