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Octopus by Yoshua Okón

March 17 – April 25 , 2012
Galerie Mor Charpentier, Paris

“Octopus” is the first solo show of Mexican artist Yoshua Okón in France. The title refers to his most recent work presented in October at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. This final installation will be confronted by another of Okón’s major works, “Bocanegra,” which cynically displays staged scenarios meant to target fascist social orders still present today in Mexico.

“Octopus” is a reinterpretation of the Guatemalan civil war that ravaged the country in the 1980s, re-enacted here in a Home Depot parking lot in Los Angeles. The actors and extras in the video are all members of the “Los Angeles Maya Community” who fought during the civil war before immigrating illegally to the United States where they are consequently sold and traded for working labor in the same Home Depot parking lot where the video is filmed.

“Octopus” refers to the coined nickname of the American company United Fruit, an influential economic juggernaut in Guatemala, controlling 10% of the wealth of the country and playing, through its links with the CIA, an important but quite controversial role in the political capital of the state.

“Bocanegra” completed in 2007, is a video installation divided into four parts, evoking the journey of a group of 3rd Reich aficionados in Mexico, uniting in the presentation a conglomerate of Nazi fetishists and idolaters of this movement. The installation presents a series of orchestrated scenarios in which a comedic reading of a Nazi ideology takes place, subtly dismantling the ideology and meant to simultaneously target the monstrosity and absurdity of the topic.

Yoshua Okón, born in 1970, lives and works in Mexico City. Founder of the contemporary art center “La Panaderia” which opened in the 90s, his video works are found in the collections of the Tate Modern, LACMA, and the Foundation JUMEX. Okón is also the founder of the SOMA artist residency program in Mexico City.

Practical Info
galerie mor charpentier
8, rue Saint-Claude Paris 3ème / M° Saint-Sébastien Froissart
T +(33) 0 1 44 54 01 58
Opening: Saturday, March 17, 6pm to 9pm.
Gallery hours: Tuesday – Saturday from 11am to 7pm

This post is also available in: Spanish