Fifty years ago, Marcos Kurtycz arrived in Mexico City, where he abandoned his engineering profession for a practice based on conceptualism. His work became a precursor to action art, incorporating the body as an artistic tool. Few accepted such a posture at that time, which led Kurtycz not only to develop his own path within art as an idea, but also to impress on it an active sense that permeated his experimental activities.
The artist’s first contact with Mexico was recorded in his notebooks and projects: a scathing vision of the barbaric events of October 2, 1968. In those same notebooks, Kurtycz expressed his affinity with the modality of action art. His principal contribution was to extend action art to many of the artistic trends and movements of the second half of the twentieth century . This aesthetic proposed the dematerialization of the object, not only because of the importance of the idea and the process over the final product, but because of the ephemeral nature of the action and the presence of cheap, unstable materials that lie outside of the repertoire shared by both traditional and avant-garde artistic production.
This comprehensive dialogue transformed Kurtycz into an exceptional, complex and versatile figure on the Mexican arts scene, one who worked in parallel to the groups of the 1970s, and obliquely to the post-avant-garde of the 1980s, which was concealed under the sign of “neo-Mexicanism.” The artist developed a strategy of war against the institutionalization and commodification of art through “bombing” as a modality of postal art, in addition to an intense activity of publishing rituals embodied in artist’s books.
This exhibition brings together a rare diversity of experimental proposals and materials that reflect an obsessive working process, one that finds its equal in the action of artistic groups, and that has the intensity and aggression of a man in a state of war.
Kurtycz is a central figure in performance art in Mexico, with international visibility. In the 1990s he entered into dialogue with a new generation of artists affiliated with neo-conceptualism, a decade in which he faced illness and reformulated his activity as a action artists with a new cycle of war fought by his “snake” alter ego, a being able to shed its skin and take life by storm.