AIMIA | AGO Photography Prize

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Edgardo Aragón

Edgardo Aragón’s work invites reflection on the history of violence in his homeland, Mexico. Deeply engaged with political and social histories of Oaxaca, the province where he was born and still lives, his video and photography works often document performance and sculptural interventions against landscapes that appear at once serene and foreboding. In Efectos de Familia (Family Effects), Aragón retains young family members to stage depictions of murder and punishment in places he used to play as a child. The work addresses the cycles of violence at play in contemporary Mexico, pervading both the public and private realms. Tinieblas (Darkness) shows members of a local band playing a death march while standing on land markers. Each musician was filmed individually, but when the 13 videos are played simultaneously, the collective music is eerily out of sync. The land markers refer to the history of territorial disputes in this region, where violence has tragically escalated in recent years. The images convey a mournful sensibility, underscored both by the sound of the music and by the grandeur of the landscape contrasted with the smallness of human activity.


Tinieblas (Darkness)

Advertencia, Mensajes (Messages/Warning)

Tesoro (Treasure)

Efectos de Familia (Family Effects)


Edgardo Aragón (born 1985) received his B.A. in Fine Arts from the ENPEG la Esmeralda, Mexico City. His work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at institutions including the Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporaneo (MUAC), Mexico City; MoMA P.S.1, New York; and the Luckman Gallery, Los Angeles, CA. His work has also been included in group exhibitions including Resisting the Present, Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, 2012; Disponible: A Kind of Mexican Show, San Francisco Art Institute, 2011; Historias Fugaces, Laboral Centro de Arte, Gijon, 2011; and El horizonte del topo, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, 2010. His work was also included in the 3rd Moscow Biennial of Young Artists, the 12th Istanbul Biennial, and the 8th Mercosur Biennial. His films have been screened in film festivals in Werkletiz, Marseille, and Mexico City. He lives and works in Oaxaca.