Love Me, Quiereme, Buy Me
An exhibit at the Terrace Level Gallery of the OAS General Secretariat Building
An exhibition by Carolina Mayorga
March 12, 2010 – April 16, 2011
ABOUT THE EXHIBIT
Washington, DC: The Art Museum of the Americas announces the opening of Love Me, Quiéreme, Buy Me, an installation of photographic images and video art that comment on women’s behavior in relation to popular culture and social norms, the search for personal acceptance, and on habitual consumption as a means of searching for personal value. This exhibit is a part of the National Women’s History Project’s 2010 “Writing Women Back into History” program.
Baby Doll, 2010
Love Me, Quiéreme, Buy Me is a site-specific project where the artist frames her “photo sculptures” installation with an excerpt from the popular song Callejera (Streetwalker), first recorded by Carlos Gardel in 1929. The song’s lyrics refer to their subject as a “flamboyant piece of furniture…that shines”, warning that “when you advance in age and lack in appeal, you will have a dead heart.” With this stark reminder of the inevitable disintegration of the human body as a contextual groundwork, Mayorga presents a series of images that range from hyper-detailed close-ups of lipstick-colored lips and female subjects with closed eyes that resonate in their inter-subjective qualities, to outdoor settings of subjects going about their day to day lives.
The exhibit offers a perspective on women’s behavior that is framed in everyday life and global consumerism. The Love Me in DC series includes the image of a woman’s legs in boots as she sits at a bus stop. Next to her are advertisements for a popular juice beverage and a chain restaurant.
In the Dance with Me video, a woman’s shoes and ankles are visible as she moves with a spirited vigor. When a male’s dress shoes and black pants enter the frame to dance with her, her movements become stilted, but they soon walk out of frame together. In “Muted,” the artist speaks through red lips, until duct-taping her mouth shut. Once the tape is removed with lipstick stuck to it, she speaks again.
Also from the series Love me in DC, a subject poses triumphantly with a statue of Simon Bolivar, the 19th century political leader who is credited with playing a key role in the independence from the Spanish monarchy of several Latin-American countries. Only her tall pink boots and ankles are in the frame. The image suggests a gender-specific twist on the notion of independence and liberation.
Carolina Mayorga was born in Bogotá, Colombia, and has held one-person shows in Colombia, Mexico, at the University of Kansas in and the Washington, DC area. She has also participated in group exhibitions in Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Sweden and numerous cities of the United States. Her work frequently shifts between genres, enveloping its messages in video, sculpture, drawings, mixed-media installations, and performances. Rather then rest comfortably in one particular set of aesthetics, Mayorga allows for her works’ themes to determine the form in which they are conveyed.
Her work comments on migration, identity, war, and gender roles in frank satires that can be chilling (in the case of her snow sculpture in Sweden that spelled out “by the time this sculpture melts 45,000 children will die in war” until is dissipated into water) just as well as humorous (such as her “newspaper soup” performances, in which the artist hosts her own cooking show, instructing audiences in the cuisine of the impoverished).