In Art 21’s Episode Mexico City, we see four artists that mainly produce works that convey political statements. The artists are Damien Ortega, Minerva Cuevas, Natalia Almada, and Pedro Reyes. The artist that sticks out the most to me is Damien Ortega because his sculptures are visually striking, even though he uses everyday objects. The use of everyday objects is part of his political statement, showing us the objects that we take for granted and making something extraordinary out of them. I appreciate how the film actually shows a malfunction that he has on his piece “Domestic Cosmology,” caused by the weather.
Pedro Reyes is boring. His art is about taking instruments of death and converting them. The film seems to dedicate more time to his family more than his art. Although, he does state that he teaches his kids though puppets about the political system, which is kind of cool.
The film’s portrayal of Minerva Cuevas gives me mixed feelings about her work. The viewer sees Cuevas’s art in different mediums very quickly, which include film, painting, and stealing. Her segment does not flow as well as the other artist, due to all medium changes. Her “art” doesn’t always seem to be art. I consider myself pretty liberal on what can be considered art, and I find it hard to imagine altering bar codes on groceries a form of art. She states that, “The idea is the art,” and that her idea is about social justice. This statement can sometimes be true, but not always. An example is if I stole money from a wealthy banker and gave it to the poor, and then stated I did it because of social justice. Would that be considered art or just theft?
Natalia Almeda is a filmmaker. One of her films showcased in the episode is about her grandfather whom was a political figure and was also considered a dictator. She state’s that the film is her reconnection to Mexico City. She travels to dangerous places in order to film her projects, which is admirable for an artist.