press release

Mario García Torres. Illusion Brought Me Here
25.10.2018 - 17.02.2019

Illusion Brought Me Here is the first US survey to focus on the work of Mario García Torres (Mexico, b. 1975), whose practice investigates the mechanisms that produce artistic thought. His wide-ranging works often delve into the history of Conceptual art—its gestures, figures, and projects—to uncover obscure facts, live testimonials, and other narratives not listed in official accounts. Appropriation, narrative, repetition, and reenactment are just a few of the strategies that the artist employs to present his findings, which often exhibit a blurred division between truth and fiction. Using a variety of media, including video, installation, photography, painting, and sculpture, García Torres aims in his projects to address the subjectivity of historical records and the limitations of memory.

At the Walker, the exhibition is presented in the galleries, Cinema, and the Bentson Mediatheque, a self-select space for viewing moving image works. On view is a selection of 45 works created over the past two decades as well as site-specific installations conceived exclusively for the exhibition. A newly commissioned piece titled Silence’s Wearing Thin Here (n.d.), which the artist compiled from the soundtracks of his previous media-based works, serves as a dynamic audio framework to the show.

Illusion Brought Me Here, the exhibition’s title piece, is an augmented-reality installation suggesting that works of art are not the product of one individual’s vision but rather the negotiation of personal impulses in combination with the interests and ideas of others. Within the project, García Torres recognizes the participation of a number of collaborators—writers, curators, photographers, musicians, and gallerists—he has worked with over time. Avatars in the form of 3D holographic images of each collaborator will appear in various locations throughout the galleries, forming a group portrait of those who have contributed to the development of the artist’s body of work. The project can be accessed via smartphone through a free, downloadable app.

“For the past 20 years, I have been questioning the idea that time and memory, beginnings and ends, arrivals and departures, and the very essence of the artist’s role in society are stable concepts. At the core of the exhibition (or in between works, to be more precise) is a debate between my own impulses—forces that make energy shift from one world to the other.” –Mario García Torres

Mario García Torres: Illusion Brought Me Here is organized by the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, and copresented with WIELS, Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels. The exhibition will be on view at the Walker Art Center, October 25, 2018–February 17, 2019; and at WIELS, May 17–August 18, 2019.

The exhibition will be accompanied by the first publication to survey the artist’s work, published by Walther König Verlag, Cologne.

Curated by Vincenzo de Bellis, curator and associate director of programs, Visual Arts, Walker Art Center; with Fabián Leyva-Barragán, curatorial fellow, Visual Arts.

The presentation at WIELS is organized by Caroline Dumalin, curator.

About the artist
Mario García Torres (b. 1975, Monclova, Mexico) received his MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in 2005, and currently lives and works in Mexico City. His solo exhibitions include Museo Tamayo, Mexico City (2016); TBA21, Vienna (2016); Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth (2015); Pérez Art Museum, Miami (2014); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2014), Project Arts Centre, Dublin (2013), Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (2010), UC Berkeley Art Museum (2009); and Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2007). The artist has also participated in the Sharjah Biennial (2017), Berlin Biennale (2014), dOCUMENTA13 (2012), São Paulo Biennial (2010), Yokohama Triennale (2008), and Venice Biennale (2007).

Acknowledgments The Walker Art Center’s presentation of Mario García Torres: Illusion Brought Me Here is made possible by generous support from the Edward R. Bazinet Foundation, Carlo Bronzini Vender, Deborah and John Christakos, Isabel and Agustín Coppel, Nicoletta Fiorucci/Fiorucci Art Trust, Karen and Ken Heithoff, Gonzalo Parodi, Jean-Edouard van Praet, Danniel Rangel, and Enea Righi and Lorenzo Paini.

Related events

Performance and artist talk: Mario García Torres
Thursday, October 25, 6:30pm
Walker Cinema

The exhibitions opening-night celebration begins with a live performance of the stage monologue I Am Not a Flopper (2007), written by García Torres and Aaron Schuster, performed by David Dastmalchian. A discussion with the artist and exhibition curator Vincenzo de Bellis follows.

Performance: The Cordiality Paradox
Thursday, November 29, 6:30pm
Walker Cinema

Performance: The Causality of Hesitance
Thursday, February 7, 6:30pm
Walker Cinema