kurimanzutto is pleased to present Asset Forfeiture, Jonathan Hernandez’s third solo exhibition at the gallery.
Over the course of about two years, the artist attended public auctions in Mexico, acquiring a series of assets that had been seized from organized crime by the authorities. His acquisitions then became the primary material for the realization of the works on display.
In dissecting this inventory, Hernandez reflects on the turbulent reality of contemporary Mexico and the attending political, economic, social and cultural implications. Tracing the movement of these objects creates a picture of the national landscape; in a single transaction questions arise that extend beyond our specific context and circumstances: What is the relationship between legality and illegality in the global economy? How are illicit activities assimilated into daily life? How do the mechanisms of money laundering function? What is a tax haven? What is the role of art within this panorama?
Extinción de Dominio seeks to deactivate daily information bombs through our common sense and reflective capabilities. With intentional indiference to the morbidity associated with drug trafficking, the artist proposes emptiness and invisibility as rich territories for thought and reflection. Everything we can’t see, everything we intuit, everything that has disappeared from a place calls us to observe and recognize the desert that surrounds us and to consider possible solutions: regeneration, reconstruction, and transformation of absence into presence, into resiliency.
Formal qualities ranging from historical references to common art practices recall the mutating world of a kaleidoscope, where the invisible becomes visible, creating a landscape that reveals its own fiction. Similarly, the gallery becomes a scene of tension where Hernández scrutinizes the networks and paradoxes of power – both the myths that constitute it as well as its various perversions – , presenting evidence that allows us to glimpse the holes in the State that make up our society, situations that we often live with a sense of indifference or denial. According to this plotline, the artist does not exist outside the problem. On the contrary, he is part of the puzzle, one more link in the long chain of social decomposition.