ALBERTO ORTEGA-TREJO

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

His work uses architectural history, writing and video to address representations of indigeneity, the production of extreme environments and contemporary political struggles in the Americas. He has been a fellow of the Society of Architectural Historians and 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 the curator of The Last of Animal Builders, an exhibition at the Edith Farnsworth House, opening March 31, 2023. He manages the Katz Center for Mexican Studies at The University of Chicago.

Work by Alberto Ortega at Rhona Hoffman Gallery in Chicago.


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Mechanics of Labor Control
On law and religious language
Texts and diagram

This project explores religious and legal language to question and blur the notion of truth, testimony and history. A diagram traces back in time the agents and events that lead to the accidental death of an indigenous worker in a construction site in the 1970’s at the Mezquital Valley, in Mexico. A looping video of repurposed footage shows images of workers of the Valley precariously balancing and sliding down a steel column.



Based on the testimonials collected by Paul Leduc in his documentary Ethnocide: Notes on the Mezquital.

This piece was exhibited at the Venice Architecture Biennale, in Ca’ Foscari Zattere. “Exploring Belonging”, a collective exhibition by SAIC in response to the US Pavilion theme: Dimensions of Citizenship.