The Hacer Noche festival, led by artists from Oaxaca, invites to engage and contemplate
The second edition of the Hacer Noche The Oaxaca Art Festival opened Sept. 3 at 20 cultural institutions and unconventional sites, including a radish field and the archaeological site of Monte Albán. Title Promised land in homage to the eponymous techno hit by Joe Smooth, the second exhibition was organized by the Guinean-Spanish curator Elvira Dyangani Ose, current director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona (MACBA).
“There hasn’t been a time that I’ve been here and haven’t encountered a protest for any reason,” the curator said. The Arts Journal. “People are so aware of their engagement with what it means to have active political representation, and that collective awareness was at the heart of my imagination.”
In the wake of a pandemic as well as socio-economic and environmental unrest, the expansive festival invites visitors to experience first-hand the possibilities born of shared commitments. Like many recent biennials that opt for loose thematic links and freer explorations through their sites – such as the ongoing Manifesta 14 in Kosovo or the upcoming Istanbul Biennial – Hacer Noche aims to provide a catalyst for audiences to brings together around concerts, interventions, performances, parties and meditations throughout the city of southern Mexico. From local group Colectivo Amasijo’s trek in search of pre-colonial stories in the mountains to Berlin collective Slavs and Tatars’ pickle bar-think tank, programming echoes the immediacy of everyday interactions toward vast potentials.
“You can call it a biennial if you allow a biennial to be something else,” Dyangani Ose says of why they call Hacer Noche an artist-run festival. “There is a certain rhythm to experience what the artists offer here beyond an exhibition.”
The eight-episode talk show by Oaxaca-based artist Jaime Ruíz Martinez, The Maquiladora, is an example of the festival’s hypothesis about alternative media. The 52-minute chapters explore different waves of contemporary art in Oaxaca through the prism of the city’s political landscape.
“We decided on topics based on how they have drastically affected the cultural community and art disciplines,” Ruíz Martinez said, “such as the death of painter Francisco Toledo allowing an accelerated process of gentrification and overexploitation. native subjectivity”. The artist notes that the use of mass media is not a revolutionary concept, but “this time it’s not about appropriation; it is about reconciliation and how we can produce multiple coexistences across the boundaries of artistic practice, media and institutional work”.
Another local artist, Berenice Olmedo, turns to the more conventional medium of sculpture to illuminate her overlooked representations, in this case the disabled body. Olmedo’s prosthetic leg sculptures invite the public to consider, according to the artist, “disability is not only physical but also political and social”. Resisting movement and refusing marginalization are the pillars that Olmedo aims to build through the immediate tactility of sculpture. One of its objectives is to replace the hypothesis of the absence of a member by “a presence”. The idea of a festival, according to her, “proposes encounters between bodies and corporeality that collectively reinvent the politics of visibility and multiple futures”.
Hacer Noche translates to “going through the night”, a moment of transformation and transition from dark to light and from place to place. According to Dyangani Ose, the title encapsulates the show’s sense of commitment, veiled by the “ritualistic” potentials of the nocturnal moment. “You’re on a trip, you’re making a stopover and experiencing something new,” she says.
The inaugural edition of the festival in 2018 focused on the spiritual and creative connections between 42 artists from southern Africa and Mexico and welcomed 100,000 visitors.
- Hacer Noche: Promised Landuntil December 2022 in Oaxaca, Mexico