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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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 against the Federal Emergency Management Agency plat to 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.