Telón de Boca (Front Curtain)

  • Telón de Boca, 2018
    Photo: Ramiro Chaves
    Courtesy of Museo Universitario del Chopo

【Alteration of exhibit】
The large textile hanging in the atrium is made from promotional music themed T-shirts sewn together. By integrating speakers into the work, Camil encourages the public to activate it and use it as a sound system for events. The garments hint symbolically at mass production and the market economy, as well as music fan identity, and the means through which we communicate. They also speak about the permeability of borders and traffic of goods (the t-shirts are produced in Latin America for the United States market and the surplus is resold as bundles in Mexico City street markets called "pacas").
At "El Chopo", a street market that borrowed the name from an art museum in Mexico City where Camil first exhibited the work, bartering is so common that countless band T-shirts get traded along with other fashion and music items. The band T-shirts sewn into the textile were obtained from artist's friends, museum goers and passers-by following the tradition of "El Chopo", by bartering second hand editioned t-shirts produced in advance with a designer.

Pia CAMIL

  • Born 1980 in Mexico City, Mexico
  • Based in Mexico City, Mexico
  • Courtesy of the artist

Pia Camil creates work in a range of expressive forms, including large-scale textile installations, associated with the Mexican urban landscape and modernization. Her recent major work Telón de Boca was inspired by bartering at the Tianguis Cultural del Chopo, where different kinds of music mingle together. Second-hand t-shirts, produced in advance with a designer, were exchanged for band t-shirts belonging to friends and passersby; the garments thus collected were sewn together into a single large textile, into which 24 speakers were installed. The band t-shirts are vehicles for cultural, social, and personal information; meanwhile, the fact that this surplus of products that had been produced for the United States market is bargained for in Mexico City street markets also hints symbolically at global economic and trading systems. With this work Camil created a monumental sonic space which provided a stage in which the public was able to participate.

Selected Works & Awards

2018 Telón de Boca (solo), Museo Universitario del Chopo, Mexico City, Mexico
2018 Split Wall (solo), Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham, UK
2017 Bara, Bara, Bara, (solo), Dallas Contemporary, Dallas, Texas, USA
2015 A Pot for a Latch (solo), New Museum, New York, USA
2014 The Little Dog Laughed (solo), Blum & Poe, Los Angeles, USA

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