Category: Contemporary Art
Author: Damián Ortega
Text credits: VV. AA.
Co-published with Kurimanzutto
Designer: Alejandro Magallanes
Dimensions: 19,7x30cm / 7.76 x 11.81in
Publication date: 2023
Estridentismo (Stridentism), a vanguard cultural movement (c. 1921) which united artists and writers in a quest for artistic innovation and social reform, became embodied in an ideal but incomplete place called Estridentópolis. A century later, Damián Ortega (b. 1967) created his own Estridentópolis (2019), a small-scale “city” populated by towers with skyscraper bodies and animal heads, alongside disembodied workers’ garments and wrinkled, patterned collages made from repurposed commercial cement bags.
Ortega’s engagement with Estridentismo predates his own Estridentópolis, revealing numerous long-standing parallels in artistic practices and conditions of artmaking in Mexico that impacted the construction of both urban visions. Moreover, the historical, visual, and conceptual intersections between Ortega’s Estridentópolis and its postrevolutionary antecedent — even though they were conceived decades apart and from vastly divergent perspectives — generate a productive dialogue about the conditions of Mexican modernity.