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Facing the Sky curated by Louise DéryThe Ghost of Modernity, lixiviados, 2012

Placeholder, 2016

Miguel Angel Ríos - New York, United States, Mexico City, Mexico

This video, filmed on a deserted plateau in Zaachila, Oaxaca (Mexico), is projected on a screen by the shore of Lake Ontario, with the dark night sky as a backdrop.

It introduces visitors to a world of contrasts between darkness and daylight; North and South, rich and poor. Set in a garbage dump over-flown by vultures, the video begins with the sound of a buzzing fly. Shanty houses mysteriously drop from the desert sky and land on the barren ground with loud thuds and the jangling of the corrugated metal. A plexiglas cube – an emblem of modernity with its geometric shape and transparency – floats into the picture with a will of its own, like a magically activated ghost. Red flags on the houses are heard flapping in the wind and the sound of an ominous flock of vultures are heard and seen taking off and circling.

The modernist quest for pure form and sterile order is set against waste and inequality. Anonymous people furiously sweep the ground with straw brooms as the cube almost lands like a hovering helicopter, yet remains clean and detached from its surroundings.

Miguel Angel Ríos (1943, Catamarca, Argentina) studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Buenos Aires before moving to New York in the 1970s to escape the military dictatorship. He now divides his time between New York and Mexico City. His works have been exhibited at the Dallas Museum of Modern Art (2006), the Sydney Biennale (2010), the Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, Mexico (2011). His work is found in collections such as the MOMA (New York), Reina Sofia (Madrid), and Hirshhorn Museum (Washington).

Video Installation


OBLIVION Militant Nostalgia And the Transformation Reveals Facing the Sky Independent Projects Major Institutions Event Centre Invictus 360°

Harbour Square Park West

25 Queens Quay West (Accessible via Harbour Square, southern extension of York St.)

Suitable for all ages

This project is outdoors.