San Ildefonso College in México presented the high impact hyperrealism of Ron Mueck before it travelled to Paris.

Exhibitions worth revisiting: Ron Mueck
Mexico City - JUN 03, 2013

Having to spend half an hour in a queue that wraps around the block announces a spectacular exhibition. All the publicity generated around the artist Ron Mueck in recent years is more present in Mexico at the exhibition of his hyperrealist work in the San Ildefonso College. 


Exhibitions worth revisiting: Ron Mueck
©Ron Mueck
It is curious to pass next to the main square with inscriptions of Hernan Cortez and other conquerors about the grandiosity of Tenochtitlan to enter the exhibition of the Australian Ron Mueck. From the begining, his work Mask II, a colossal head, has some parallels with the Olmec heads. Before ritual and tribute now mimetic plasticity. The artist's impeccable technique reconstructs the human body even more faithfully than reality itself. The surface gains more vibrant colors, more detailed textures (especially in the age of digital image that flattens any porosity) creating a body more beautiful than the one alive.

The works are of an impressive realism, but what about the Wax Museum in town? If what we see is the demonstration of the ability of a former special effects technician to accurately capture reality, where are the artistic aspirations claimed in the past? We are in an era where form is the most interesting element, and the clearest way of perceiving this is in everyday life, where everything is designed and proposed for constant beautification. Would say Yves Michaud, "it seems that the beauty turned into gas and invaded all spaces". In the art world, the implicit concept is not enough to sell an image of the work, we must come up with something spectacular and, above all, beautiful.
Exhibitions worth revisiting: Ron Mueck
©Ron Mueck, young couple
The sculptures in latex, silicone and other materials not mentioned, gain life from the postproduction of them, where, once paintedthey become a mirror of everyday life. However, look at overwhelmed an audience that does not stop and spends on average 10 minutes to see a dozen pieces that play with the dimensions and spacial distribution. "Do not stop on the tour" was the phrase most repeated inside, and the sculptures seemed smaller in front of a big audience. The large attendance is partly explained by the easy comprehension of the pieces, but also because of the dedicated marketing exposure. The museum became a huge spectacle, attracting a mass incompatible with the space and contemplation. You could not stop to look at a piece in detail, the speed imposed by the museum staff themselves allowed only a brief glimpse.
Exhibitions worth revisiting: Ron Mueck
Ron Mueck working on woman with shopping bags
In this way, the exhibition falls like a glove for the Museum, a former school decorated with magnificent murals of Orozco, Rivera and Siqueiros, searching for meaning in art that promoted the revolution of man. Now, it is a simple business almost of living statues. As a we were in the street watching dozens of people, who disguised, earn a living standing still and drawing the attention of ordinary passerbys that pass by occasionally. The public comes closer to this type of work, which leads to an immediate identification either with elements that are instantly perceived or either by some similarity to their everyday surroundings. Art in this way renews its importance, but by becoming more mediatic. So, art can come out of the museums and gain other spaces and make other meanings without having to rely on the already decaying conceptualism. This return towards the real foretold by Hall Foster by comparing the hyperrealism made in the 80's with the conceptual appropriationism of the 90's, is increasingly more spectacular and perfect as a way to invite the public to the museum. It lies, however, in a loss of meanings in relation to more conceptual art. Maybe it's just a symptom of the lack of time devoted to art and its possible interpretations. The exhibition of Mueck then emerges as a contrast in the megalopolis: the lack of time of the people can be optimized by a visit to a quick art exhibit.
Exhibitions worth revisiting: Ron Mueck
©Ron Mueck, Drift
With excess so prevalent in the city, how is possible to create something new and, at the same time, interesting? The museum is transformed into a space for leisure, beyond artistic or cognitive concerns. Culture becomes a business in the era of the creative economy, where each expression based on creativity and copyright must make its own means of subsistence in a world marked by capital. We run the risk of the museums become places of entertainment like theme parks, where thousands of people flock in search of a fleeting sensation that dissipates when leaving the premises.

The contemporary artist, however, also comes into play, and  does not have all the time of production of the pieces, becoming more and more a cultural producer. With the constant acceleration of daily life and its constant movement, who will produce the work?, And above all, who is going to experience it?

Wayner Tristão

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