tuesday, 18 june Open 12 — 19
Municipal Gallery Arsenał

ul. Szyperska 2/6-8, 61-754 Poznań
T. +48 61 852 95 02
E. arsenal@arsenal.art.pl

Opening hours:

Poniedziałek: nieczynne
Wtorek – Sobota: 12 — 19
Niedziela: 12 — 16

In the Absence of the State | Luz María Sánchez
guided tours with the artist and curator
25.05.2024m 4 pm | 6 pm

4 pm guided tours in English

6 pm guided tours in Polish

Luz María Sánchez’s major solo retrospective, In the Absence of the State, features artworks created between 2006-2024 and explores the ways in which individuals deal with life in a failed society. The featured works address social issues related to Mexico’s struggle to survive: migration to the North, crimes against humanity such as enforced disappearances, the distribution of power, and the destruction of democracy. The latest work by the artist, a complex installation entitled power · room exhibited for the first time at Arsenal, will shed light on the latter. At the same time, Sánchez pursues her private, idiosyncratic narrative, discreetly recounting her personal life story, which is intertwined with the history of contemporary Mexico. This makes her message not only geographically specific, but universal. Sánchez develops the notion of the artwork understood as an archive/memory. Utilizing participatory strategies, the artist puts an emphasis on violence and the ways in which it is naturalized and institutionalized. Her multiform, transdisciplinary artworks depict a post-disaster landscape, and evoke a sense of hopelessness and loss. At the same time, however, her art calls for antagonistic actions and tactics of resistance.

Sánchez conveys her political interests through outrage and concern: hers is an activist stance brimming with ethical commitment. Her work is both an articulation of her research activity and an act of protest, a demand for social change. While her artistic and research projects are centred on testimony and dialogue, Sánchez proposes a grassroots politics built outside institutional structures.

The artist’s multimedia, transdisciplinary, hybrid works of art represent the key critical trends in contemporary art. The exhibition displays a range of multimedia sound installations, interactive installations, single and multichannel video works, complex installations using VR technology, photographic works, sculptures, drawings, and screen prints. The show also highlights the use of found sound in visual arts, a strategy characteristic of Sanchez’s practice.

Through her transdisciplinary approach to practice and research, Sánchez persistently questions the limits of various disciplines. Her art practice also touches upon climate change, the environment, and the breakdown and corruption of political structures.

Luz María Sánchez is a transdisciplinary artist, writer, and researcher with a professional career spanning over 27 years. She holds a PhD in art from the Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona. Her extensive body of work has been exhibited in Europe and the Americas, most recently at: Trondheim Elektroniske Kunstsenter, Trondheim (2024); Ruby City Contemporary Art Center, San Antonio (2023-2024); Haus Kunst Mitte, Berlin (2023); Scuola Grande di Carmini, Venice (2023); Elektroakustisk Trondheim at the Planetarium/Trondheim Science Center (2023); Opalka Gallery, Albany, New York (2023); Circuits and Currents, Athens (2023); GAM, Mexico City (2022-2023); Vincent Price Art Museum, Los Angeles (2022); Piksel Festival, Kunstskolen I Bergen, Bergen (2022); Ars Electronica, Linz (2021, 2020); Contemporary Art University Museum MUAC, Mexico City (2019); Musikkens Hus, Aalborg (2019); WRO Art Center, Wrocław (2019); Sala Ricson/Hangar, Barcelona (2019); Museum of Modern Art, Mexico City (2018); ZKM | Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe (2017); and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Bogotá (2016). Sánchez has received several awards and recognitions, including two consecutive Prix Ars Electronica Honorary Mentions in 2020 and 2021 for her projects Vis.[un]necessary force_3 and Vis.[un]necessary force_4, and the 2015 Climate Change Artist Commission by the Land Heritage Institute (Texas). In 2014, she received the First Prize Award of the Biennial de las Fronteras (Mexico).

Sánchez has been invited to present her art-research projects at institutions including the University of the Arts London (2024, 2020), Universitat de Barcelona (2024, 2020), Université Paul Valéry Montpellier 3 (2023), Freie Universität Berlin (2022), the Department of Sound School of the Art Institute Chicago (2021), Concordia University (2017), and ZKM Center for Art and Media (2017) among others.

As a Samuel Beckett scholar, Sánchez has extensively studied Beckett’s oeuvre and from 2019 to 2023 served on the Samuel Beckett Society’s Executive Committee. She is also a member of the Norwegian Norske Billedkunstnere NBK, the National System of Art Creators, and the National System of Researchers from the National Council for the Humanities, Sciences, and Technology in Mexico.

Sánchez is a professor at Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, an associate professor at Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, and associate professor at Universitetet i Bergen. She has authored five books and curated a number of exhibitions and transdisciplinary conferences. Her monographs include: Sound · Beckett · Object (2023), Sonar. Navigation // Location of Sound in the Artistic Practices of the 20th Century (2018), Electronic Samuel Beckett / Cochlear Samuel Beckett (2016) and The Technological Epiphanies of Samuel Beckett: Machines of Inscription and Audiovisual Manipulation (2016). She is also a guest writer for the forthcoming The Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Sound Studies (2027).

Sánchez’s upcoming individual exhibition is a testament to her remarkable contributions to the art world and marks her first major solo retrospective.

Ryszard W. Kluszczyński, curator


diaspora (2006). From the series DIASPORA. Digital image. Dimensions: 33cm x 48cm. Courtesy of the artist. (c) Luz María Sánchez.