Mario García Torres
b. 1975, Monclova, Mexico
Mario García Torres was born in 1975 in Monclova, Mexico. He received his BFA from the Universidad de Monterrey in 1998 and his MFA from the California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, in 2005. Responding to the legacies of Conceptual art and institutional critique, García Torres uses film, photography, slide projection, sound, text, and video to debunk modernist myths, deconstruct art-world icons, and reveal the contingent nature of supposedly universal truths. Appropriation, narrative, repetition, reenactment, and the tropes of reportage are some of the strategies that he employs to uncover the limitations of memory and the subjectivity of historical record.
In order to examine the lasting relevance of Conceptualism, García Torres has reenacted projects by artists including Daniel Buren, Martin Kippenberger, Robert Morris, and Ed Ruscha. Buren’s work also evokes the Mexican muralists, and he later cited Diego Rivera as having influenced his situational practice. In 2009, García Torres refabricated all the works that were included in the exhibition 9 at Leo Castelli, organized in 1968 by Robert Morris around his theory of Anti-Form.
García Torres orchestrated a different kind of slippage between fantasy and reality in a body of work investigating Alighiero Boetti’s One Hotel in Kabul. A Film Treatment (Share-e-Nau Wanderings) (2006), consists of a faxed exchange with Boetti regarding the artist’s wish to find the site of the building. Have You Ever Seen the Snow? (Alguna vez has visto la nieve caer?, 2010) traces the artist’s attempts to locate the site, and Tea (2012) chronicles what happened when the artist discovered that the hotel was still standing and embarked on the task of refurbishing it as a meeting place for artists and intellectuals as an offsite commission for Documenta in Kassel, Germany (2013). García Torres further complicates our understanding of time and place in the film by splicing in images of Mexico, creating a poetic parallel between his own work and Boetti's.
García Torres has had solo exhibitions at the Kadist Art Foundation, Paris; and Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Amsterdam (both 2007); Jeu de Paume, Paris; and CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco (both 2009); Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (2010); and Proyectos Monclova, Mexico City (2013). He has been included in the group exhibitions Around Bas Jan Ader, Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City (2004); Hecho en Casa, Museo de Arte Moderno de Mexico City (2009); Taking Place, Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Amsterdam (2010); God Only Knows Who The Audience Is, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco (2011); and The Floating Admiral, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2013). He took part the Venice Biennale (2007), Moscow Biennial (2007), Yokohama Triennale (2008), Panama Biennial (2008), São Paulo Biennial (2010), and Taipei Biennial (2010); and Documenta, Kassel, Germany (2012). He was awarded a residency at the Fondazione Antonio Ratti, Como, Italy (2004) and the Cartier Award at the Frieze Art Fair, London (2007). García Torres lives and works in Los Angeles.