ALBERTO ORTEGA-TREJO

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

His work uses architectural design, writing, video, public programs and performance to address histories of social struggles, racialization and class dynamics in 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 the John W. Kurtich Foundation. For his work on the history of Mexico City’s Modern Sewage System and its relationship with indigenous representation he was awarded an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant by the Anti-Racism and Global Architecture History program, an initiative of the Global Architecture History Teaching Collaborative of the Department of Architecture at MIT. His work has been shown in venues as the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale, the Chicago Design Museum, Extase, SITE Galleries, SpaceP11 and the Centro de Arte y Filosofia. He acts as a creative advisor for the Farnsworth House (Historic Site by the National Trust for Historic Preservation) and coordinates the public programs of the Katz Center for Mexican Studies of the University of Chicago.

UPCOMING EXHIBITIONS:
Itinerarios Líquidos with Andrea Hunt, curated by Benedetta Casini for BienalSur
Fundación Andreani, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Sep 25, 2021

UPCOMING PUBLICATIONS:
The Tactical Gardens: On People for Community Recovery and Bottom Up Subjective Transformation.
For New City’s Chicago Architecture Biennial edition. Chicago, USA. October, 2021.



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The Issue You Mentioned Earlier
On ecology and capitalism
Exhibition
On March 19th, 2015, Florida’s emergency management chief Bryan Koon testified before the State Senate Budget Subcommittee on the news that the Federal Emergency Management Agency would pull federal funding from states that refuse to directly address climate change.

In alignment with his position of climate change denial, Koon went through a series verbal gymnastics to avoid using the scientific term for our current catastrophic path in his statements.

The central piece of the show, “Wish You Weren’t Here” consists of a scaled steel cofferdam (a dam that prevents flooding of foundations in construction sites below sea levels) displays phrases exchanged in official emails by climate change deniers in the US Senate. Such phrases are projected over a melted piece of ice that floods the structure - residue of the Polar Vortex that hit Chicago one week before the opening of the show.

Thuribles for a poisonous mushroom colloquially known as Destroying Angel embody the abstract threat of climate change. The gallery’s circuit box frames a nilometer that measures the scales of an Ideal Flood, and a two channel video installation loops the works “Catastrophic Ice Formation” and “Order is human”.



In collaboration with Rosemary Hall.


This project was possible thanks to the support of: Jonathan Solomon and David L. Hays.