ALBERTO ORTEGA-TREJO

Mexican artist and architectural designer based in Chicago, USA and Pachuca, Mexico.

His work uses architectural design, writing and video to address representations of power and marginality in the Mexican State and the Americas. He has been a grantee of the New Artists Society of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Jumex Foundation for Contemporary Art and Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. His work has been shown in venues as Fundación Andreani for BienalSur, Ca’ Foscari Zattere for the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale, Harun Farocki Institut, Chicago Design Museum, Extase, SITE Galleries, SpaceP11 and Centro de Arte y Filosofia.

He is currently an IDEAS Fellow at the Society of Architectural Historians under the mentorship of Spyros Papapetros (Associate Professor of Theory and History of Architecture, Princeton University School of Architecture), a Creative in Residence at the Edith Farnsworth House and manages the Katz Center for Mexican Studies at The University of Chicago.


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Las Aguas Bajan Turbias

For BienalSur

A Fragment of a building that does not exist.


This exhibition is comprised of El Mundo Debajo and El Espejo Otomí. El Mundo Debajo is an experimental documentary that traces the Mexican Modern state’s representation of indigeneity through the making of Mexico City’s sewage system. The video is projected over four prefabricated concrete panels.  El Espejo Otomí is a sculpture consisting of eight concrete casts of a maguey leaf acting as a cladding system for a metal structure. This fragment takes a traditional building method of the Otomi region in Hidalgo to the material language of modernity. The Otomí region receives Mexico City’s black waters and has been historically exploited for minerals for the production of cement, a key element for the infrastructural transformations of Mexico City. This work was produced for BienalSur, curated by Leandro Martinez Depietri and Benedetta Casini and installed at Fundación Andreani in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

With Andrea Hunt

The research for this project was funded by the American Institute of Architects and MIT’s Global Architecture History Teaching Collaborative.