Espacio Continuo

The 10 Best Booths at Mexico’s Zona Maco, with Pieces Honoring Protest and Place

Juliana Góngora

Arguably Latin America’s most important art fair, Zona Maco has been on hiatus as the country, and the world, weathered the pandemic, staging its last edition in February 2020. And since the pandemic is still not over, the fair made the necessary adjustments to ensure visitor safety. Aisles between booths were significantly widened, and masks were required—attendees for the most part were good about wearing them. A general sense of weariness toward international travel seemed to dampen attendance at the fair, which felt somewhat lower than years past, despite Zona Maco scheduling its date a week before Frieze Los Angeles. (Their overlap had kept exhibitors and visitors from visiting in the past.)

[Calendar: When is the world’s next art fair?]

After a four-year absence from the fair, mega-gallery Gagosian returned, and Deborah McLeod, a director at its Beverly Hills location, said that a lot had changed. “Zélika García [Zona Maco’s founder] has done an amazing job revamping the fair,” McLeod said. “During the pandemic hiatus, it really seems she and the fair team had time to reconsider some things. It doesn’t feel crowded or like you’re going to bump into art work. Every aisle feels like the main aisle, which is great for the exhibitors. Everything seems to be upgraded, to the lighting and the floors.”

Juliana Góngora’s booth at Bogota’s Espacio Continuo displays sculptural works from her recent series “Arrullos” (Spanish for lullabies). The works, made in collaboration with the Indigenous Coreguaje/Ko’revaju people, focus on the relationship between nature and motherhood infused by Góngora’s personal sentiments on the subjects. Entering the booth on right is a series of wall-mounted glass sculptures in the shape of a breast, which drop by drop feed water to the plants below. Next is a series of shallow bowls made using a traditional technique that molds milk and lime into a solid receptacle. On the left wall is a collection of objects: samples of clay, milk dried on a sieve, various plants, as well as some examples of an Indigenous building material technique. This collection represents Góngora’s research practice but also her deep engagement and respect for the community. In the center of the booth is a large sculpture from which hands woven sacks, a technique the Coreguaje/Ko’revaju say they learned from birds who weave their nests in the forest.

February 10, 2022

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