BY Tania Candiani in Profiles | 14 DEC 20
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Issue 215

Artists’ Artists: Tania Candiani on Noé Martínez and María Sosa

Tania Candiani on how the artists’ work challenges the dominant historical narrative of the clash between Indigenous and European cultures
 

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BY Tania Candiani in Profiles | 14 DEC 20

‘Tania Candiani on Noé Martínez and María Sosa’ is part of a series of articles in which we asked nine artists to choose a colleague whose work has been on their mind. 

María Sosa and Noé Martínez share an artistic methodology and a cultural sensitivity that they express in an array of poetic forms approached from specific critical angles. Challenging the dominant historical narrative of the clash between Indigenous and European cultures and its effects on our present, the artists’ collaborative works speak of languages, identity, rituals, cosmogonies and memory; of the power of objects, materials and the body.

In their individual practices, both artists incorporate archaeological, historical and ethnographic elements to reconstruct affective and ideological scenarios based on the phenomenology of images, the materiality of art and the use of metaphors – with their power of invocation – as a performative act.

Noé Martínez and  María Sosa, Volví a ver animales en la noche. Los extrañé 500 años (I Saw Animals at Night Again. I Missed Them for 500 Years), 2017, installation view. Courtesy: the artists and LLANO, Mexico City
Noé Martínez and María Sosa, Volví a ver animales en la noche. Los extrañé 500 años (I Saw Animals at Night Again. I Missed Them for 500 Years), 2017, installation view. Courtesy: the artists and LLANO, Mexico City

Sosa focuses her investigation on the pre-Columbian past, specifically the moment of first contact between Indigenous American peoples and European colonizers. Her creative approach contests Western epistemologies, treating history as a malleable sculptural medium. Her work has, for some time, been revisiting notions of the feminine and feminisms in Latin America, as well as their interplay with Indigenisms. ‘We need to talk about colonization, we must face this monster of the past directly,’ wrote Sosa in the April 2019 issue of Terremoto.

MaríaSosa&NoéMartinez
Noé Martínez and María Sosa, Volví a ver animales en la noche. Los extrañé 500 años (I Saw Animals at Night Again. I Missed Them for 500 Years), 2017, installation view. Courtesy: the artists and LLANO, Mexico City

Using case studies drawn from his own ancestry, Martínez reconstructs historical narratives. His work is shaped by language, Indigenous identity and the political potential of memory. Through ethnography, field studies and research into archives and local knowledge, he posits experiments in decolonization which seek to validate a new version of history that is critical of official accounts. Both in their collaborations and independently, Martínez and Sosa are powerful voices for understanding our present.

This article first appeared in frieze issue 215 with the headline ‘Artists’ Artists’.

Main image: Noé Martínez and María Sosa, Volví a ver animales en la noche. Los extrañé 500 años (I Saw Animals at Night Again. I Missed Them for 500 Years), 2017, installation view. Courtesy: the artists and LLANO, Mexico City

 

Tania Candiani is an artist. In 2015, she represented Mexico at the 56th Venice Biennale, Italy, with Luis Felipe Ortega. She currently has solo exhibitions at Arizona State University Museum, Tempe, USA (until 15 December), and the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, USA (until 7 January 2021). She lives in Mexico City, Mexico.

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