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Playing with closed eyes, 100 years of surrealism

RGR galería presents on February 6, 2024 Playing with closed eyes, 100 years of surrealism, a group exhibition with historical and contemporary works and documents commemorating one hundred years of surrealism and the use of the game in Modern art. 

The exhibition, curated by Gabriela Rangel with guest curator Verónica Rossi, aims to recover the exquisite corpse as an idea of playful creation and practice of surreal automatism, which is particularly productive for thinking of it in relation to current debates on Artificial Intelligence (AI). Artificial intelligence shows transmuted realities and creates an imaginary that disrupts classical representation, as surrealism imagined the region that divides dreams from waking, altering forms and changing the perception and experience of the world.

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Karina Aguilera Skvirsky

Ingapirca: Piedra #8, 2019

Hand-cut collaged and folded archival inkjet prints

43 x 56 cm. (17 x 22 in.) Unframed
45 x 58.4 cm (17.9 x 23 in.) Framed

Edition of 3 + 2 AP

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Karina Aguilera Skvirsky

Ingapirca: Piedra #8, 2019

Hand-cut collaged and folded archival inkjet prints

43 x 56 cm. (17 x 22 in.) Unframed
45 x 58.4 cm (17.9 x 23 in.) Framed

Edition of 3 + 2 AP

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Karina Aguilera Skvirsky

Ingapirca: Piedra #9, 2019

Hand-cut collaged and folded archival inkjet prints

43 x 56 cm
17 x 22 in

Edition of 3 + 2 AP

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Karina Aguilera Skvirsky

Ingapirca: Piedra #9, 2019

Hand-cut collaged and folded archival inkjet prints

43 x 56 cm
17 x 22 in

Edition of 3 + 2 AP

Inquire

The display presents a broad, non-historic, and non-linear narrative made of artifacts, paintings, sculptures, drawings, documents, and photographs that invite us to look at this century-old avant-garde as a way of introspection into the future of reality, human faculties, and their infinite capacity to expand the boundaries of the possible.

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Mercedes Azpilicueta

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Mercedes Azpilicueta

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Guillermina Baiguera

Alimania

Felt, human hair embroidered curtain, and chain

50 x 35 cm
19 3/4 x 13 3/4 in

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Guillermina Baiguera

Alimania

Felt, human hair embroidered curtain, and chain

50 x 35 cm
19 3/4 x 13 3/4 in

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Why surrealism? In addition to the mythical effects generated by the trips of Antonin Artaud and André Breton to Mexico, the country (and Latin America) had an important nucleus of artists, activists and writers who were founders of the movement and who arrived from Europe after fleeing World War II. The exhibition highlights the work of creative couple José and Kati Horna and their network of friends, indispensable figures in understanding the scope of the development of surrealism. During his visit to the country in 1938, Bretón declared: “Mexico tends to be the surrealist place par excellence. I find Mexico surreal in its relief, in its flora, in the dynamism that the mixture of its races gives it, as well as in its higher aspirations.”

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José Planas Casas

Niña saltando

Watercolor

24.5 x 18.5 cm
9 3/4 x 7 1/4 in

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José Planas Casas

Niña saltando

Watercolor

24.5 x 18.5 cm
9 3/4 x 7 1/4 in

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Juan Batlle Planas

1934

Pencil

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Juan Batlle Planas

1934

Pencil

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Juan Batlle Planas

1936

Ink

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Juan Batlle Planas

1936

Ink

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Juan Batlle Planas

1942

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Juan Batlle Planas

1942

Juan Batlle Planas

1944

Collage

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Juan Batlle Planas

1944

Collage

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Juan Batlle Planas

Triángulos, 1942

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Juan Batlle Planas

Triángulos, 1942

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Curiously, there is no historical avant-garde movement that successfully reinvented itself throughout the 20th century and part of the 21st century in as many different cultural contexts as surrealism did. Its radius of action covered the streets of Paris, Prague, Milano, Brussels, Lima, Barcelona, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Cairo, Havana, Martinique, Santiago, Sao Paulo, and Tokyo. The neologism that named the ism prefigured by the poet and critic Guillaume Apollinaire appeared prior to the creation of the aforementioned artistic group, formally created in December 1924 in Paris by young intellectuals and writers.

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Leonora Carrington

White people, 2005

Acrylic on canvas

111.5 x 81 cm
44 x 32 in

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Leonora Carrington

White people, 2005

Acrylic on canvas

111.5 x 81 cm
44 x 32 in

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Surrealism proposed to review the very definition of reality that at that time required an expanded or problematized notion of its confines due to the leading role of technology in life (and war) and the aspirations for change of the social movements that proposed the search of a new political spectrum. The members of the founding group sought to renew the culture in ruins after the political and economic catastrophe caused by the Great War and the terrible demographic consequences left by the Spanish flu, as well as the appearance of fascism in Europe.

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Marcelo Cidade

Sur Realismo del Sur, 2023

Drawing made with stamp

Variable dimensions

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Marcelo Cidade

Sur Realismo del Sur, 2023

Drawing made with stamp

Variable dimensions

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Vicente Forte

Paloma

Tapestry

135 x 131 cm
53 1/4 x 51 1/2 in

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Vicente Forte

Paloma

Tapestry

135 x 131 cm
53 1/4 x 51 1/2 in

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Magdalena Fernández

1pmWKB024 Canis familiaris, 2024

Digital animation of acrylic and watercolor paintings on paper

Loop. 1 min 30 sec

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Magdalena Fernández

1pmWKB024 Canis familiaris, 2024

Digital animation of acrylic and watercolor paintings on paper

Loop. 1 min 30 sec

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The ism itself emerged as a crystallization of the playful pessimism of Dada with a kind of Gothic unfolding of romanticism. But while the members of the Cabaret Voltaire, anarchists, artists and writers, lit the spark of sympathizers simultaneously with their appearance in countries such as Germany, Spain, Italy, Romania, France, and the United States and later wanted to merge with the anti-art program offered by the first surrealism, it instead managed to quickly adopt its own identity and separated from Dada as a radical aesthetic-political postulate in the post-war period.

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El techo de la ballena (Daniel González)

20 x 25.3 cm
7 3/4 x 10 in

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El techo de la ballena (Daniel González)

20 x 25.3 cm
7 3/4 x 10 in

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El techo de la ballena (Daniel González)

20 x 25.3 cm
7 3/4 x 10 in

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El techo de la ballena (Daniel González)

20 x 25.3 cm
7 3/4 x 10 in

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Elsa Gramcko

Tótem Nº 2, 1974

Organic material, casein plaka and metal on masonite

46 x 35.6 cm
18 x 14 in

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Elsa Gramcko

Tótem Nº 2, 1974

Organic material, casein plaka and metal on masonite

46 x 35.6 cm
18 x 14 in

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Patrick Hamilton

Atacama #17, 2022

Intervened photograph with copper plate, wooden frame

100 x 140 cm
39 1/4 x 55 in

2 + 1 AP

 

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Patrick Hamilton

Atacama #17, 2022

Intervened photograph with copper plate, wooden frame

100 x 140 cm
39 1/4 x 55 in

2 + 1 AP

 

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Surrealism’s primary organ of dissemination was publications, the first of which was La Révolution Surréaliste, a magazine under the care of editors Pierre Naville and Benjamin Péret (who lived through the war years in Mexico), as well as books of poetry and poetic prose produced by its founders. Simultaneously with the emergence of the founding magazine of the movement, André Breton, who early on assumed leadership of the group, published the first Surrealist Manifesto as a prologue to his book Poisson Soluble (Soluble Fish) which was written using the automatic writing method:

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José Horna

La Cuna (Collaboration with Leonora Carrington), 1949

Carved wood, ropes, and fabric

100 x 130 x 66 cm
39 1/4 x 51 1/4 x 26 in

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José Horna

La Cuna (Collaboration with Leonora Carrington), 1949

Carved wood, ropes, and fabric

100 x 130 x 66 cm
39 1/4 x 51 1/4 x 26 in

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José Horna

Marioneta, 1956

Wooden sculpture with music box

115 x 16 cm
45 1/4 x 6 1/4 in

(JHO001)

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José Horna

Marioneta, 1956

Wooden sculpture with music box

115 x 16 cm
45 1/4 x 6 1/4 in

(JHO001)

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Gunther Gerzso

La Ciudad y el Sol, 1957

Oil on canvas

54.5 x 73 cm
21 1/2 x 28 3/4 in

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Gunther Gerzso

La Ciudad y el Sol, 1957

Oil on canvas

54.5 x 73 cm
21 1/2 x 28 3/4 in

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Surrealism does not allow those dedicated to it to abandon it when they please. Everything leads one to believe that surrealism acts on spirits just as narcotics do; Like them, it creates a certain state of need and can induce man to tremendous rebellions. We can also say that surrealism is a very artificial paradise, and the love for this paradise derives from the study of Baudelaire, as does the love for other artificial paradises. The analysis of the mysterious effects and the special pleasures that surrealism can give cannot be missed in the present study, and it is to be noted that, in many aspects, surrealism seems to be a new vice that is not the exclusive privilege of a few individuals but rather, like hash, can satisfy all those with refined tastes.

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Kati Horna

Serie: Hitler-Ei, 1936

Collaboration with Wolfgang Bürger 

Gelatin silver print

17 x 11.8 cm
6 3/4 x 4 3/4 in

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Kati Horna

Serie: Hitler-Ei, 1936

Collaboration with Wolfgang Bürger 

Gelatin silver print

17 x 11.8 cm
6 3/4 x 4 3/4 in

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Alice Rahon

El trío, S/F

Oil on canvas

37.5 x 27.3 cm
14 3/4 x 10 3/4 in

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Alice Rahon

El trío, S/F

Oil on canvas

37.5 x 27.3 cm
14 3/4 x 10 3/4 in

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Magali Lara

Bajo los párpados (I), 2024

Pencil and pastel on paper

38.5 x 56.5 cm
15 1/4 x 22 1/4 in

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Magali Lara

Bajo los párpados (I), 2024

Pencil and pastel on paper

38.5 x 56.5 cm
15 1/4 x 22 1/4 in

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Magali Lara

Bajo los párpados (II), 2024

Pencil and pastel on paper

38.5 x 56.5 cm
15 1/4 x 22 1/4 in

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Magali Lara

Bajo los párpados (II), 2024

Pencil and pastel on paper

38.5 x 56.5 cm
15 1/4 x 22 1/4 in

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Magali Lara

Bajo los párpados (III), 2024

Pencil and pastel on paper

38.5 x 56.5 cm
15 1/4 x 22 1/4 in

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Magali Lara

Bajo los párpados (III), 2024

Pencil and pastel on paper

38.5 x 56.5 cm
15 1/4 x 22 1/4 in

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Magali Lara

Bajo los párpados (IV), 2024

Pencil and pastel on paper

38.5 x 56.5 cm
15 1/4 x 22 1/4 in

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Magali Lara

Bajo los párpados (IV), 2024

Pencil and pastel on paper

38.5 x 56.5 cm
15 1/4 x 22 1/4 in

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Magali Lara

Bajo los párpados (V), 2024

Pencil and pastel on paper

38.5 x 56.5 cm
15 1/4 x 22 1/4 in

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Magali Lara

Bajo los párpados (V), 2024

Pencil and pastel on paper

38.5 x 56.5 cm
15 1/4 x 22 1/4 in

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From its inception, surrealism was an internationalist and militant group, subject to constant ideological purges and programmatic revisions by its founders, in particular by Breton and Louis Aragon. However, its members favored theoretical collaborations and contributions from non-European philosophers, writers, and artists who were an inspiration or close to their ethos during a century of longevity, such as the poet Count of Lautremont (Isadore Ducasse) and the radical Peruvian poet living in Mexico, César Moro, who together with Austrian Wolfgang Paalen and Inés Amor organized the International Surrealist exhibition at GAM in Mexico City in 1940. Despite the dogmatism that characterized the surrealists, they denied in successive editorials any static definition or doctrinal intention to establish an open program based on “automatic writing and the telling of dreams.”

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Diego Pérez

Dédalo en marmol, 2023

Marble

42.7 x 36.6 x 31.2 cm
16 3/4 x 14 1/2 x 12 1/4 in

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Diego Pérez

Dédalo en marmol, 2023

Marble

42.7 x 36.6 x 31.2 cm
16 3/4 x 14 1/2 x 12 1/4 in

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Francisco Muñoz

Piedras aparentes Vol. 8, 2018

Charcoal print on cotton paper

45 x 45 cm
17 3/4 x 17 3/4 in

Edition 1 of 3 plus AP

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Francisco Muñoz

Piedras aparentes Vol. 8, 2018

Charcoal print on cotton paper

45 x 45 cm
17 3/4 x 17 3/4 in

Edition 1 of 3 plus AP

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This exhibition invites us to ask ourselves from the game and the archive if the combination between neural networks, computer games and linguistic models present in AI could acquire a productive dimension when contrasted with the aspiration of creating a new reality unfolded by the ludic sense given the need to explore the material of dreams, as well as the human imagination and psyche. Do machines play the same as humans? Can you feel or dream like in science fiction? Or in the words of ChatGPT artificial intelligence creator Sam Altman, are [these machines] a tool or a creature?

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Xul Solar

Untitled, 1919

Watercolor and ink on paper

30.5 x 25 cm
12 x 9 3/4 in

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Xul Solar

Untitled, 1919

Watercolor and ink on paper

30.5 x 25 cm
12 x 9 3/4 in

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Oswaldo Vigas

Vaquita, 1950

Encaustic on paper pasted on masonite

30 x 48 cm
11 3/4 x 19 in

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Oswaldo Vigas

Vaquita, 1950

Encaustic on paper pasted on masonite

30 x 48 cm
11 3/4 x 19 in

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