An exhibition by Pia Camil
Divisor pirata is an adaptation of "Divisor" (1968), the iconic work by the Brazilian artist Lygia Pape, which consists on extending in space an enormous piece of white fabric with multiple perforations through which the audience can poke their heads out, while their bodies remain covered underneath it.
In Divisor pirata, Camil seeks to repeat this dynamic with the main difference being that the white fabric is replaced by a collection of second hand clothes. Most of these were originally made in Mexico to be sold in the United States, and then returned to Mexico to be sold in second hand markets.
The acquired clothes has been dyed by Camil with the typical mexican pink color, characteristic of the Tianguis, or open-air markets in Mexico. The slogans, logos and symbols on the shirts provide an additional layer of significance, at a conceptual level, as they are representative of the ideals promoted by the “American” culture. What does it mean to wear them, at personal and collective levels? What happens when the message is displaced to other contexts and social classes?
Pape's piece intends to question the relationship between the individual and the collective. Given the current frail political balance between the United States and Latin American countries –heightened by the current elections in the U.S.– Camil’s piece invites the local public to think of ourselves as individuals in relation to the collective, and as Latin Americans in relation to the United States and the rest of the world.
As part of the exhibition "Divisor pirata", collective action was organized to activate the central piece of the exhibition. The action lasted one hour and took place on Wednesday, December 14th at 3:00 p.m., at Parque Concordia (Parque Enrique Gómez Carrillo), located between 5th and 6th avenues, and between 14th and 15th streets in zone 1, Guatemala City.
Pia Camil (1980) lives and works in Mexico City. She has a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA from the Slade School of Fine Art, London. Her work has been exhibited internationally, with recent solo-exhibitions including “Slats, Skins & Shopfittings”, Blum & Poe, New York (2016); "A Pot for a Latch", New Museum, New York (2016); "Skins", Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati (2015); "The Little Dog Laughed", Blum & Poe, Los Angeles (2014); "Espectacular Telón" at Sultana Gallery, Paris (2013); "Cuadrado Negro", Basque Museum Centre for Contemporary Art, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain (2013) and "El Resplandor" at OMR projects, Mexico City (2009).
Camil’s work is usually associated to the mexican urban landscape, the aesthetic language of modernism and its relationship to retail and advertising. Recently she has engaged in public participation as a way to activate the work and engage with the politics of consumerism.