One artist, one studio | Marcela Armas
Marcela Armas was born in Durango (Mexico) in 1976. Today, she lives and works between Mexico City and San Miguel de Allende, where she has recently established a new studio.
Her practice is situated somewhere between science and technology, but her work can also be very political, as works such as I-Machinarius and Resitencia demonstrate. The former, shown at Paris’ Musée d’art Moderne in 2012 as part of the exhibition “Resisting the present,” consisted of a series of moving cogs and chains which spewed ink onto a white backdrop. The crippled machine, which spoke to issues of destructive energy consumption in a global context, aroused much interest and enthusiasm among the French public, and remains especially relevant today.
Armas’ architectural and technical science studies have made their way into her work, which often has a strong technological dimension. The sounds, the life of the city and its inhabitants, their energy as well as the relationships between individuals in a multi-faceted, complex society, are all present in her work.
In 2015, she conceived Implant — commissioned by the Biennial of the Americas — a “geological” performance which involved collecting rock samples in Denver, Colorado, and in Mexico City, and transporting each set of samples from each city to the other. Digging thus becomes a way of connecting two cities and two very diverse cultures. The performance culminates with a lecture, given by a group of geologists, on the results of the transplantation. Performances such as Implant attest to Armas’ interest in exploring the societal and political questions that are linked to urban development, to the use of lands and resources, and of course, to poverty.
Armas’ upcoming project — still in its conception phase — will explore the electromagnetic fields present on the surface of rocks, as well as the themes of memory and history, broached through a strictly geological point of view. The research for this project will be conducted in a number of mining towns of Central Mexico.
Though Armas has shown internationally, her works remain largely indebted to the political and societal history of her country. She is represented by Arróniz gallery in Mexico City.
Implant, Exchange of land between Mexico and USA. Extraction process. Denver, 2015
Implant, Exchange of land between Mexico and USA. Piece of Land. 2015
Vórtice, Mechanism built with official text books of Mexico, 2013
Sideral. Converting the magnetic field of meteorites into sound. Marcela Armas and Gilberto Esparza. 2016