Julieta Aguinaco: “Mañana Will Be Another” at CYDONIA

DALLAS

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“Under the Citlaltépetl Video Still,” 2013, Julieta Aguinaco video file comprised of 8000 images, 3 mins/20 secs looped, Multiple methods of installation, dimensions vary
Photo: courtesy of CYDONIA and Artist

Julieta Aguinaco has probably exhibited her work more frequently abroad than in Mexico, where she lives and works, placing her within a minority when it comes to mid-career artists who usually have it the other way around. Internationally her work has been seen in Denmark, the Netherlands, the UK, Germany, Brazil, and China as well as the US. Her current show in Dallas marks her second solo exhibition at Cydonia Gallery. A conceptual artist to the core, Aguinaco is keenly interested in the nature of time and language, as registered in the exhibition title, where the Spanish words for tomorrow and morning are the same depending on the temporal context. For this exhibition she brought her work to bear upon the idea of time as elucidated by the philosopher Timothy Morton in his book “Hyperobjects: Philosophy and Ecology After the End of the World.” These hyperobjects exist independently from humans, are too big to be measured, and most importantly, emit time.

One example of a hyperobject is global warming because of how it affects the environment over time in a way that makes a direct correspondence between the two difficult to pinpoint. Within this gray area, Aguinaco explores how more than one time passes simultaneously along with others. In her dual video projection Under the Citlaltépetl (2013), she exposed over 8000 time-lapse photography images of the highest mountain in Mexico. These were used to put together two video streams that each picture opposing times, like time clocks, that run simultaneously; the one on the left starts at twilight and ends just before the break of day, the one on the right begins in the morning and ends as night approaches. The sheer beauty of this natural wonder includes clear skies that dance with elegant clouds, falling stars, and constellations made visible as the images progress. In reality, a view of the night-day paradox is impossible to witness at the same time, and explains Aguinaco’s aesthetic treatment of this enigmatic notion as a meditation on temporality, ecology, and what’s at stake when we fail to try and see more than the merely visible. Through her intervention into reality Aguinaco has created, or at least revealed, a hyperobject of her own.

—JOHN ZOTOS