ALBERTO ORTEGA-TREJO

Mexican artist, researcher and architectural designer.

His work uses drawing, sculpture, writing and video to address representations of indigeneity in architectural modernity and the production of extreme environments in the Americas. He has been a fellow of the Society of Architectural Historians and a grantee of Jumex Foundation for Contemporary Art, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and DCASE, among others. His work has been shown at DePaul Art Museum, BienalSur, Ca’ Foscari Zattere, Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Andrew Rafacz Gallery, Uri-Eichen Gallery, SITE Galleries, SpaceP11 and Centro de Arte y Filosofia. He has been a guest speaker for institutions and organizations like MoMA’s Emilio Ambasz Institute x DocTalks, the American Institute of Architects, the Society of Architectural Historians, Smart Museum of Art, Materia Abierta, UPenn, MAS Context and CENTRO.

He is currently the curator of The Last of Animal Builders, an exhibition at Mies van der Rohe’s Edith Farnsworth House.

He manages the Katz Center for Mexican Studies at The University of Chicago.


CURRENTLY:
Life Cycles - DePaul Art Museum, Chicago
Mercurial Lake- URI-Eichen Gallery, Chicago


ARTIFICIAL-AGENCY 


Architecture
Exhibition Strategy
Research and Publication
Design Consultancy

Previous clients and collaborators include, Art Institute of Chicago, Singapore Art Museum, Edith Farnsworth House,  Goethe-Institut Chicago, Michael Rakowitz Studio, Black Athena Collective, Dawit L. Petros, and  Center for Latin American Studies at The University of Chicago.

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Keep scrolling for selected projects ↆ

Agua Muy Vieja Del Lugar Espantoso

At Rhona Hoffman Gallery in Chicago

As part of Gentle Content, a group show curated by Julia Birka-White

 
“Alberto Ortega Trejo’s contributions to Gentle Content were prompted by recent news events that illuminate class struggles — specifically in his home country of Mexico — in addition to his research regarding Indigenous Mexican cosmologies. When creating these new objects, Ortega Trejo considered the deadly 2019 explosion in Tlahuelilpan, Mexico of a pipeline owned by Pemex, the state oil company. The illegal extraction, possession, and sales of thefted fuel has been a long standing issue in the country, the result of larger class and economic disparities affecting sites of mineral extraction and oil processing as is the case of Tlahuelilpan, an Otomí territory. Ortega Trejo’s metal figurative cut-outs adhere to the wall, and similar to Bredar’s painted suspended heads are disjointed and cut off from their whole. Discernable is an amputated leg referencing the overcirculation of violent image in contemporary Mexico while engaging with Otomí God-making practices. Next to it, a nebulous form that is actually an alcohol sack, hovers among other silhouettes. The alcohol sacks the artist is referencing are used for pulque (a traditional Mexican alcoholic drink of fermented agave nectar) storage and typify the effect of alcoholism on colonized Indigenous communities globally. Additionally, six charcoal on sandpaper drawings mounted on metal plates and organized in a grid unite to form an atlas bone. Interested in bones and the practice of their display in sacred and communal spaces in Central Mexico as well as in their political and forensic register, Ortega Trejo’s precise drawing could be read as a warning or a sign of perpetuation and regeneration.”

Julia Birka- White, Director of Rhona Hoffman Gallery