Born in Ciudad de México (Mexico), 1970Lives & works in Ciudad de México (Mexico) Very active in: 2000s, Current decade
Carlos Amorales was born in 1970 in Mexico City, where he currently lives and works. Between 1992 and 1996 he studied in Amsterdam, at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie and the Rijksakademie. Amorales came to international attention in the late 1990s with his "Amorales vs. Amorales" performances, which were inspired by the world of amateur wrestling in Mexico. Much of the artist?s work explores the culture and values of his native Mexico. He is fascinated with contemporary rituals, both secular and religious, particularly the role and meaning of costume and masks. He continues to explore these motifs in a multifaceted artistic production that includes performance, animation, painting, drawing, and sculpture.
Amorales is also interested in collaborative practices and is part of Nuevos Ricos, an artist group that includes musicians, performers, and designers. Amorales has participated in major international group exhibitions such as the 50th Venice Biennale (2003), 2nd Berlin Biennial (2001), and 1st Tirana Biennial (2001). His work is part of the collection of museums such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Tate Modern, London; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; and Centre National des Arts Plastiques, Paris.
The unique visual vocabulary that has become Carlos Amorales?s signature style stems from his Liquid Archive, a digital database containing hundreds of drawings generated by the artist and subsequently used and reused in his multifaceted body of work. Begun in 1999, this growing collection of images is the tool that unifies Amorales?s artistic oeuvre as its motifs migrate from medium to medium. For example, the spider webs, birds, kneeling figures, and silhouettes of trees used in the series of drawings Selected Ghosts (composition) (2008), presented in this exhibition, have appeared in previous drawings, animations, installations, and performances. In these drawings, the artist uses vector graphics to generate the outline of these familiar images, creating a sense that the images are on the verge of disappearing, and capturing their silhouettes just before the moment of dissolution, like the aura of a ghost.
As an image bank, Amorales?s archive becomes a visual vocabulary intended for collaborative use and reinterpretation, with the artist positioned as a critical filter, an interface between forms and their potential meaning. In his two-channel projection of video and animation Dark Mirror (2004), for instance, Amorales commissioned a graphic designer to create an animation using the archive and concurrently asked a musician to generate a score inspired by a selection of images derived from the same source. Together the two facets of the work form a coherent whole that positions Amorales in the role of editor or director. The way in which he allows the element of chance to define the final result of such collaboration reverberates with the open-ended scenarios he constructs in the works originating in the archive, particularly his animations.