Science and Art Converge in MOLAA’s EL EXPLORATORIO: ZONA 1

Are you ready for the opening of El Exploratorio: Zona 1 & Extracorporeal this Saturday?Joint Exhibition Opening: Extracorporeal & El ExploratorioCristian CastroNuclear Fish series, 2018 Recycled materials, fiberglass, steel#mechanical #ExhibitionOpening

Posted by Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) on Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) will showcase the artworks of Latin American and Latino artists using science and technology to discover new forms of expression in El Exploratorio: Zona 1 – Beyond the Limits and the Processes of Creation.

El Exploratorio: Zona 1 opened over the weekend, and features 19 artists applying strategies of hybridity, reproduction, fragmentation and appropriation and using their findings as tools to develop new aesthetic discourses within the creative field, “working in conjunction with today’s technological and aesthetic Neo-Renaissance,” according to MOLAA.

“Stereotypes about Latin American and Latinx art tend to define it as a monolith of ‘colorful’ and folky objects or images wrapped up in issues of identity,” said MOLAA Curator of Education, Gabriela Martínez. “There is a rich history of Latin American artists working with innovative materials or science-based concepts who either led these movements or worked contemporaneously alongside colleagues in Western Europe and the United States.”

Artists exploring the convergence of art and science include Radamés Ajna (Brazil, b. 1985) and Thiago Hersan (Brazil, b. 1981), experimenting with human- and machine-based interaction in public spaces. In memememe they present two interfacing cell phones.

Self-taught industrial designer and artist, Cristian Castro (Argentina, b. 1971), deconstructed a Volkswagen Beetle to form the shape of a crab (pictured). Lina Espinosa (Colombia, b. 1964) presents bacteria prints that draw attention to the intersection of art, biology and cartography.

Cristian Castro (Argentina, b. 1971), EGG-771, 2008. Recycled materials, fiberglass, steel. Serial # 006. Courtesy of the artist.

Los Angeles-based artist Linda Vallejo (US, b. 1951) investigates contemporary cultural and political issues by transforming demographic information into patterns and grids in her Datos Sagrados / Sacred Data series, creating a language by synthesizing European systems with ancient forms.

Also included in the exhibition is one commissioned work by Aníbal Catalán (Mexico, b. 1973) based on futuristic Russian Constructivist aircraft design. Other artists including William Pérez (Cuba, b. 1965), Mabel Poblet (Cuba, b. 1986), and Jimena Sarno (Argentina, b. 1971) push the boundaries of ideas on perspective, fragmentation, and re-engineering forms and narratives, according to the release.

“I think that in general I’m very impressed with the poetic approach that a lot of these artists are taking,” Martínez continued. “We always discuss how we can make art or science more ‘palatable’ to audiences who may not be familiar with concepts related to either field. The sheer beauty of the works and the philosophical questions that the artists pose makes me more interested in the scientific concepts that they are dealing with.”

A section of the exhibition is dedicated to Matters of Gravity / La Gravedad de los Asuntos, where nine artists translated their experience boarding the Ilyushin 76 MDK at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center to experience weightlessness into a series of images, objects and videos. In collaboration with the Consulate General of Mexico in Los Angeles, the artists explore themes of time, space, memory, liberation and poetry.

“I hope that visitors walk away with a better understanding of the diversity of concepts and art practices engaged by contemporary Latin American and Latinx artists,” said Martínez

El Exploratorio: Zona 1 will open on Sunday and run through July 29. A panel of artists from the exhibition will discuss their inspiration on June 23 from 2:00PM to 4:00PM. For more information about MOLAA, visit the website here.

MOLAA is located at 628 Alamitos Avenue.

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Asia Morris has been with the Long Beach Post for five years, specializing in coverage of the arts. Her parents gave her the name because they wanted her to be a world traveler and they got their wish. She has obliged by pursuing art, journalism and a second career as a competitive cyclist.