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August 31, 2023

Notes on Anarchaeology. Forgery, Iconoclasm, Displacement, a Ramapo Curatorial Prize exhibition curated by Paulina Ascencio Fuentes, opens on Wednesday, September 13, in the Kresge Gallery of the Berrie Center for Performing and Visual Arts.  There will be an opening reception from 5-7 p.m., with a curator’s talk at 6 p.m. The exhibition continues through November 10.  

Claudia Pena Salinas, Uxmal-on-Hudson: Stone Archives (detail), 2011, courtesy of Embajada Gallery, NY

Notes on Anarchaeology. Forgery, Iconoclasm, Displacement is an innovative exhibition that critically delves into how Western archaeological and ethnographic traditions have engaged with Mesoamerican material culture. This exhibition brings together four contemporary Mexican artists whose work prompts us to contemplate the construction, cataloging, preservation, and exhibition of heritage. The artists—Circe Irasema, Carlos Martínez, Ileana Moreno, and Claudia Peña Salinas—examine specific archaeological artifacts to reveal and interrogate the histories of their provenance and exhibition in connection with a longstanding tradition of colonial and imperial violence.

According to curator Paulina Ascencio Fuentes, “the exhibition delves into the politics of ethnographic presentation and interpretation, raising questions about the collecting practices that have permeated encyclopedic institutions worldwide.” Through their respective projects, Peña Salinas introduces tourism as a contemporary iteration of looting practices, while Irasema and Martínez explore issues of possession and ownership by delving into the potential of forgery and replicas. Additionally, Moreno engages with ancient Mesoamerican imaginaries through a feminist lens and references to pop culture.

The Ramapo Curatorial Prize is awarded each year to a second-year graduate student at Bard College’s Center for Curatorial Studies. 

Kresge and Pascal Gallery hours are Tuesday, Thursday,  and Friday from 1 to 5 p.m. and  Wednesday from 1-7 p.m.  For more information contact Sydney Jenkins at 201-684-7147.



Circe Irasema (b. 1987, Mexico)
Lives and works in Mexico City.

The genealogical tensions that arise in the interstice between popular culture and art are at the center of Circe Irasema’s practice. Drawing on the genre of still life, she carries out an archaeological study of commonly used objects in relation to their context (a random selection of decaying local items that portray an intimate story of Mexico City) through a detailed plastic inquiry about its cultural, geographical, and material development.

Circe’s work is a reflection on the local knowledge -not legitimate of sentimental education and the domestic space- that reverberates around the conflicts of representation and reproduction of Western painting.

She studied Visual Arts at UNAM and later at the National School of Painting, Sculpture and Engraving “La Esmeralda”. She participated in the MUAC Portfolio Review clinic by Jorge Macchi (2014), in addition to being selected on multiple occasions for the ACME Salon (2014-23) – Mexico City. Her work has been exhibited at Museum of Modern Art (MAM) – Mexico City (2023); Museo Jumex – Mexico City (2021); The SAPS Workshop – Cuernavaca, Mex. (2020); Clavijero Cultural Center – Morelia, Mex. (2020); ProxyCo-NYC (2019); ESPAC – Mexico City (2018), Paul Kasmin Gallery – NYC (2018); the Machine Room – Mexico City (2017), among others. She participated as a commissioned artist for the XIV FEMSA Biennial: Inestimable Azar in 2020-21. In 2022 she completed a research residency in Switzerland through the AIR-Montreux program and the Secretary of Foreign Relations of Mexico. Her work is part of national and international public and private collections.

Carlos Martínez (b. 1991, Mexico)
Lives and works in San Martín Cuautlalpan, Estado de México. 

He studied Social Anthropology at ENAH (National School of Anthropology and History) and Visual Arts at ENPEG “La Esmeralda” (National School of Painting, Sculpture and Printmaking). In his body of work, Martínez centers on the retracing of the multiple relationships between the human and the landscape in specific localities, emphasizing special interests in the Iztaccihuatl-Popocatepetl volcanoes, the location where he resides. His work is characterized by the development of medium and long-term projects that employ different visual resources and research such as sculpture, ethnography, archival appraisal, ethnographic montage and theater, painting, text, and installation.

He has held individual shows in spaces such as Parallel Oaxaca, Oaxaca; Ermita/Ladrón Galería, and Aeromoto, CDMX; A4 Galería, Hidalgo. His work has been part of collective exhibitions in spaces such as LLANO; Chopo University Museum, UNAM, Mexico City; Aoyama Mevguro Gallery, Tokyo, Japan; Rectangle, Brussels, Belgium; Museum of Contemporary Art of Monterrey, MARCO, Mexico; Museo Amparo, Puebla, Mexico.

Ileana Moreno (b. 1989, Mexico)
Lives and works in Mexico City. 

She has a degree in Visual Arts from UNAM and a specialty in Pattern Making and Dressmaking from the Zeitgeist Institute. She works with both conventional media, such as painting, sculpture and embroidery, and unconventional media–associated with fashion–such as glitter, synthetic hair, and plastic. The choice of materials and their combinations stems from her revisions of history, specifically rituals and goddesses. The conceptual and visual narratives she proposes make use of speculation, rewriting, and playfulness to subvert the naturalized readings of the past.

“Ileana Moreno is an artist who questions the historiographic use of visual symbols to overflow them into everyday practices where desire, performativity, and a feminist approach shake their officiality and fixity. To do so, she makes use of a festive aesthetic in her enunciation and in her materials. Both the plush, plastic, and glitter as well as the image that mediates Tik Tok and Instagram, account for the pathos with which she works: that of her present. Rituals are actualized and accorded to produce the singular and the shared.” -Sandra Sanchez 

She is currently a Jóvenes Creadores generation 2022-2023 fellow of the Sistema de Apoyos a la Creación y Proyectos Culturales.

Claudia Peña Salinas (b. 1975, Mexico)
Lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

Through the process of documentation, travel, collection, accumulation, and discovery Claudia Peña Salinas has developed a significant body of work in sculpture, video, publications, and installation that point towards a spatial, material, and temporal reflection. The artist situates her work between the legacies of Modernism and Indigenous cultures. Highlighing indigenous thinking and worldviews using a contemporary language, she calls attention to the Americas collective cultural memory.

She studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and received her MFA from Hunter College, New York (2009). She has exhibited at The High Line, New York (2021), DePaul Art Museum, Chicago (2021), Hessel Museum of Art, Bard College, New York (2021), Centre Pompidou, Paris, FR, (2019), the Arizona State University Art Museum, Arizona, (2019), Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2018), Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, Michigan (2018), Queens Museum of Art, New York (2012), El Museo del Barrio, New York (2005), El Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico (2006), and Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, Mexico (2015). Residencies and awards include: CCA Andratx, Mallorca, (2023), MacDowell, New Hampshire, (2021), Arizona State University Art Museum, Arizona, (2018), the Lower Manhattan City Council, Process Space, New York (2016), and SOMA residency, Mexico City (2011). She is a recipient of the Jacob K. Javits Fellowship (2007) and Sistema Nacional de Creadores de Arte, Mexico (2020). 


Paulina Ascencio Fuentes (b. 1988, Guadalajara, Mexico)
Lives and works between Guadalajara and New York City.

Researcher and curator, currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Anthropology at New York University (NYU). She has a background in Philosophy and Social Sciences and holds a MA in Curatorial Studies from CCS, Bard College, New York. Between 2021-2022 she was a Hevey-Filling Fellow in the Department of Anthropology at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. Since 2023 she collaborates with Local Contexts, a global initiative that supports Indigenous communities with tools that attribute cultural authority of heritage and data.

Her research outlines transdisciplinary modes of knowledge production and transmission, analyzes cultural exchanges between Mexico and the United States, and approaches museums, archives, and collections as contact zones. Among her recent projects are “Paricutín: An Archive like Lapilli” (ongoing research) and the exhibitions Eje Neovolcánico. Aproximaciones Artísticas al Paisaje Igneo (Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City, 2023), Ing. Jorge Matute Remus. La técnica al servicio de la ciudad (Museo Cabañas, Guadalajara, 2022); and Uxmal-on-Hudson: Migrant Mutants and Fake Ruins (Hessel Museum of Art, New York, 2021).

She is currently a fellow of Consejo Nacional de Humanidades Ciencias y Tecnologías (CONAHCYT México) and between 2019-2021 she was awarded the Jumex Foundation Grant to study abroad. In 2021 she was awarded the Ramapo Curatorial Prize to extend her MA thesis research with the curatorial project Notes on Anarchaeology, to be presented in Fall 2023.