No Lone Zone

The Level 2 space at Tate Modern is having an exhibition of works by artists from Latin America who address interwoven themes of history, nature and politics.

For some reason No Lone Zone is not listed in Tate’s ‘current exhibitions’ page. It’s not even on the one of Level 2 Gallery. I wasn’t allowed to take any photos of the exhibition and Tate’s press office wasn’t able to send me any, just photos of some of the individual works taken out of this exhibition context. So you’ll have to take my word for it. Or the one of the reputable Time Out.

M0argolles-5.jpgTeresa Margolles, Rendición de Cuentas / Score Settling (Score 15), 2008

No Lone Zone finally gave me the opportunity to see some of the works i had lamentably missed at the Venice Art Biennale in 2009 when Teresa Margolles was selected for the Mexican pavilion.

Her works took the form of mundane and ‘luxury’ objects that embody the trauma of violent deaths in Mexico, more precisely in Sinaloa. The Northwestern state is the home of the Sinaloa Cartel, a criminal organization regarded as “the most powerful drug trafficking organization in the world.” Every day in Sinaloa people are victims of drug related violence.

0verre46168a7.jpgTeresa Margolles, Score Settling, 2008. Courtesy the artist

Margolles and her assistants went to the scenes of the crimes and collected the traces of violence and social suffering: they soaked pieces of cloth with the mud and blood left on the site of executions, they picked up fragments of windshield glass that had exploded after a shooting, and they copied narcomensajes -the messages left by drug lords over the corpses of beheaded victims.

The artist used these remnants of gun violence to create jewellery, embroidery pieces, or colour fabrics and Level 2 Gallery is showing some of these works.

The flag at the entrance of the exhibition space was dyed using the blood found on the site of shootings and decapitations.

0margollbracelet6bfa227.jpgTeresa Margolles, Rendición de Cuentas / Score Settling (Score 11), 2008. Courtesy the artist

The glass fragments, collected from shot-out car windscreens, are exhibited at the back of the gallery. They have been fashioned like precious stones into ostentatious bracelets, rings, necklaces resembling that typically worn by the narcos responsible for these killings. Each piece of jewellery is accompanied by a text detailed the circumstance of the victim’s death in a dry police report style.

The exhibition takes its name from a military term designating an area where the presence of just one person is not allowed. Implying mutual observation, this two-person rule is often used in highly sensitive or unstable places for reasons of safety and security. Along with the works of Teresa Margolles, it shows videos, photos and sculptures by Cinthia Marcelle, David Zink Yi and the collective Tercerunquinto.

0a6tercerqnt71de758.jpgTercerunquinto, Public sculpture in the urban periphery of Monterrey 2003-2006. Courtesy the artists & Galerie Peter Kilchmann, Zurich

0o9calamar138c693394_z.jpgDavid Zink Yi, Untitled (Architeuthis) 2010. Courtesy the artist, Johann König, Berlin and Hauser & Wirth

The exhibition is curated by Iria Candela, Tate Modern and Taiyana Pimentel, Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros, Mexico City. It remains open at Level 2 Gallery through May 13, 2012.