in Frieze | 29 JAN 17

kurimanzutto donate Stand Prize to migrant charity

The 2016 recipients wanted to recognize ‘the migratory crisis unfolding throughout the world’

in Frieze | 29 JAN 17

Installation view of Rodrigo Hernández, 'Every forest madly in love with the moon has a highway that crosses it from one side to the other', at kurimanzutto, Mexico City, 2016. Courtesy: kurimanzutto, Mexico City. Photograph: © Diego Pérez

The recipients of the 2016 Stand Prize at Frieze London, kurimanzutto, have donated the prize sum to a charity. The gallery gifted the four figure sum to SMR, the Scalabrinian Mission for Migrants and Refugees, which like kurimanzutto is based in Mexico City.

The Mission is part of a wider congregation of San Carlos Borromeo Scalabrinianas, which has been accompanying migrants worldwide for 121 years and supporting them in Mexico for more than two decades. Sister Leticia Gutiérrez described SMR's work in a recent interview:

‘We accompany three populations within the world of migration: those who have been victims of serious crime like torture, kidnapping, and imprisonment; solicitors of asylum, who we accompany in a smaller proportion but also help; and defenders of migrants’ human rights, who’ve been threatened, displaced, and even killed.’

The community at Casa SMR-Proyecto MAMBRÉ, Mexico City. Photograph: Sister Leticia Gutiérrez

kurimanzutto’s donation will in particular contribute towards the construction of the Casa SMR-Proyecto MAMBRÉ, a shelter in Mexico City for up to 65 people, where migrants in vulnerable situations can recuperate and plan for the future with the help of a team of professionals.

The gallery said that they made this decision in recognition of ‘the migratory crisis unfolding throughout the world’ and in particular as a sign of ‘their commitment to this situation in Mexico.’ A July report by the International Crisis Group claimed that intensified enforcement of the movement of people across Mexican borders since 2014‘has diverted undocumented migration into more costly, circuitous and dangerous channels.’

kurimanzutto's 2016 Stand Prize awarded presentation at Frieze London. Courtesy: Frieze. Photograph: Linda Nylind/Frieze

Founded in Mexico City in 1999 by Mónica Manzutto and José Kuri, kurimanzutto is currently located in the San Miguel Chapultepec neighborhood of Mexico City and represents 34 artists of different nationalities. The gallery was awarded the Stand Prize for its presentation of Leonor Antunes, Roman Ondak and Gabriel Orozco by a jury comprising Bergen Kunsthall’s Martin Clark, MCA Chicago’s Omar Kholeif and LA MOCA’s Helen Molesworth.

The topicality of the global migrant crisis was evident elsewhere in the activities at this year’s Frieze London: a series of Frieze Talks invited speakers and the public to discuss the meaning of ’Borderlands’, while the Collections Fund at Frieze, supported by the Contemporary Art Society, enabled the UK’s Middlesborough Institute of Modern Art to make acquisitions at the fair of works specifically addressing themes of migration and displacement by John Akomfrah and Kader Attia.