Collective Imagination / Imaginación Colectiva

February 7 – March 30, 2023
Gobernador José Guadalupe Covarrubias 46, San Miguel Chapultepec

JO-HS is pleased to present ‘Collective Imagination’ Imaginación Colectiva' a group show exhibiting artists Demit Omphroy, Floria Gonzalez, Gordon Winarick, Neil Hamamoto, Thomas Glassford, Rodrigo Red Sandoval, Sofia Lucarelli, Julien Heintz, Avantgardo, and Pedro Assam.

The prevailing codes, conventions, and rules of everyday society often remain undeclared. Deeply rooted, and contained within myths, traditions, and the collective memory, over years and centuries they construct religious and national identities, social structures, and ideals of justice. They haunt those grand historical narratives of progress, Liberty, Modernity and the Enlightenment, that also serve to justify the failures of the past. Art and artefact become esteemed vestiges of these records, evidence of painful, if glorious, paths to a fortunate present. For the individual these identities provide community, belonging, and a sense of being part of something greater. They can transcend the self and transient daily interactions to find comfort in connection to a wider whole, and an unacquainted yet kindred public. For Benedict Anderson this means that ‘The members of even the smallest nation will never know most of their fellow-members, meet them, or even hear of them, yet in the minds of each lives the image of their communion.’

Yet national belonging can provoke migrants’ exclusion, religious identity may generate persecution, tradition can rigidify into conservatism. Alternative futures of progress and change are suffocated by convention. Those outside the community of the majority become alienated, not spoken for, disempowered, those narratives of history Western ideologies that exclude global contributions. As a few become culturally enriched through art and artefact others are dispossessed, and forced to operate subservient to the dominant culture.

Under the weight of history and tradition, imagining an alternative is not the preserve of the individual but the collective. An oppositional aesthetic comes from a deep understanding of the power of myth, tradition, history, and the creative collective imagination that can question its central tenets. Whether through fiction, parody, identity-formation, or collective dialogue, a revolutionary culture can emerge which looks into the horizon of possible futures to envision alternative outcomes for future generations.

Herbert Marcuse credited such transformations to creative forces when he claimed ‘the truth of art lies in its power to break the monopoly of established reality.’ A more equitable, fairer future, one which provides for later generations and protects a fragile planet, is not utopian but necessary, and art is a crucial means to that end.

“Collective Imagination// Imaginación Colectiva’' identifies such creative practice that look to the future and break past the myths and traditions of society that preserve structures of power and prevent progress.

The artists included in our group show seek to question societal boundaries by repurposing everyday images or objects and giving them new meaning. They aim to encourage alternative ways of thinking, in effect a new collective imagination. Through exploration with subject matter and materials these 10 exhibiting artists hold up a mirror, pushing viewers to question the norm and inspire new ways of seeing and acting.