May 9 - June 1, 2024
121 Watts Street, New York NY 10013

JO-HS is thrilled to present Techne, a curated showcase of works by 10 emerging Latin American artists grappling with the ways technology shapes us, and vice versa. Techne features drawing, sculpture, multimedia installation, and painting by Alicia Ayanegui, Sonia Bandura, José Eduardo Barajas, Celeste, Alejandro García Contreras, Chavis Mármol, Floria González, Rodrigo Red Sandoval, Hilda Palafox, and Ismael Sentíes. The works draw on cultural and personal histories, exploring the mutually influential relationship between humans and technology. With Techne, JO-HS aims to facilitate a conversation between the dynamic emerging art scenes of Mexico City and New York about a problem facing creative fields everywhere: the role of technology.

Installation views

The Greek root for technology, techne has no direct translation in Spanish or English. Connoting “art,” “craft,” “knowledge,” and “technical skill,” techne is an expansive concept encompassing how we use tools, both material mechanisms and immaterial constructs, to give form to the world. In Techne, sculptures, paintings, works on paper and installations examine the technai through which we shape our world.

Works by Hilda Palafox, Chavis Mármol, and Alicia Ayanegui investigate how rudimentary tools like thumbs, knives, and light have molded human society and its visual expressions. Paintings, drawings, and multimedia works by Floria González, Ismael Sentíes, and Alejandro García Contreras excavate how culturally embedded visual conventions surrounding genre and medium structure representation and interpretation, from portraiture and landscape to ceramics and oil painting. Across large and small scale drawings, Sonia Bandura unfolds how the visual culture of biology is a discursive technology that differentiates entities and defines relationships. Paintings and installations by José Eduardo Barajas and Rodrigo Red Sandoval draw attention to the interfaces that control access to worlds beyond our own, creating impermeable windows to the heavens or the underworld. Referencing the intertwined histories of public art and institutional critique, a painted installation by Celeste is scaled to the human body; indexing the hands that made it, the painting activates the gallery space, facilitating conversation about the embodied experience of shared space.

Techne celebrates how artists apply their skill and knowledge to create profoundly meaningful work. Emphasizing the processes that animate these artworks, Techne recognizes the significance of how artists wield the most essential of human currencies: time, space, and energy.

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Artists’ Biographies

Alicia Ayanegui (1994, Mexico City) is a painter based in Mexico City. She studied visual art at the Faculty of Art and Design Plantel Xochimilco at the Universidad Autónoma de México, studying abroad at the Faculty of Art and Design at the University Finis Terrae in Santiago in Chile.

For Ayanegui, painting has become a tool to recognize my environment. Her work mutates, permeated by each place she lives; new colors, new shapes, and new feelings appear to her and are folded into process. Ayanegui is compelled by the day-to-day spaces and objects that index their own history. Regardless of their condition, a certain poetic beauty remains.

Ayanegui has exhibited her work in solo and group exhibitions in Mexico, Costa Rica, Chile, and the US. Recent solo exhibitions include Ser Ajeno, Sala GAM, Galería de Arte Mexicano (Mexico City, 2022), Salón Acme (Mexico City, 2021), Penumbra en mi memoria, Kurimanzutto (Mexico City, 2021), and Cosas que siempre esperan, Galería Olachea (La Paz, Baja California Sur, 2021).

Sonia Bandura (1992) is a visual artist from Buenos Aires, Argentina. She is a graphic designer for the University of Buenos AIres. From 2019 she has resided in Guadalajara, México. In 2021 she completed a postgraduate program in Technopoetics / Technopolitics in Latin America directed by Claudia Kozac at the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO).

Bandura's works in drawing, living sculpture and bio installation. Applying a philosophical framework to the intersection of technology, epistemology, and ontology, Bandura examines discourses surrounding nature and biology, excavating how discursive processes produce ideas about these organisms as technical-natural entities and  the symbiotic relationships that operate at all scales of life. She has started to incorporate biopolymers and biological material, such as bacteria, roots and bacterial cellulose, into her work.

In 2023 she received a Ayarkut - Cobertizo Scholarship and completed the Cobertizo artistic residency. Since 2023, she has been part of the Permanent Seminar for Artistic Research (SPIA) at the University of Veracruz. She has exhibited at Festival Internacional de Arte Contemporaneo 2022 (FIAC) in León, at the 37th International Book Fair in Guadalajara (Guadalajara, 2022), at Studio Croma (Mexico City, 2023), Guadalajara90210 (Guadalajara, 2022, 2023), Raúl Anguiano Art Museum (Guadalajara, 2023), Arroniz (Mexico City, 2023), +ARTE gallery (Ecuador, 2023), and City Museum (Querétaro, 2023), among others.

José Eduardo Barajas (1990, Mexico City) lives and works in Mexico City. Barajas approaches painting and drawing as a discipline to monitor luminous atmospheres, color patterns, and emotional climates. Referencing various pictorial traditions, popular motifs, and technical processes, he reconstructs fragments of collective memory and personal memories. His work is based on contrasts such as, abstraction and figuration, panoramic views and close-ups, dynamism and stillness.

He is a graduate of the bachelor’s degree program at the National School of Painting, Sculpture, and Printmaking “La Esmeralda’’ in CDMX, MX. He has exhibited individually and collectively in Mexico and abroad, some of his recent exhibitions include: El Fin de lo Maravilloso, Cyberpop en México; Museo del Chopo, CDMX, MX; Saliva at PEANA, CDMX, MX; Es ist nur eine Frage der Zeit at Echo Cologne & Lodos in Cologne, DE; Mnemósine at Proyectos Multipropósito, CDMX, MX; Equator at Estrella Gallery in New York, US; Spookie butt at Terén CED in Brno, CZ; ¿Por dónde sale el sol? at Jardín de casa Barragán, CDMX, MX; Campamento para jóvenes Naturalistas at Museo de la Ciudad de Querétaro, MX; and Ajuscos_Expo at Charim Galerie in Vienna, AT.

Celeste (1988, Guadalajara, MX; 1983, Mexico City, MX) is an artist duo comprised by María Fernanda Camarena and Gabriel Rosas Alemán.

Integrating diverse media and disciplines in their practice, Celeste conducts a formal negotiation that expands concentrically in order to gradually encompass other collaborators and spectators within the workings of an intimate exchange. An abstract vocabulary inhabits the pictorial and sculptural objects created by Celeste, deriving from a sensibility that understands geometry as a rhythmic expression of inwardness and the exterior world. This vision condenses within the canvas a sequence of archetypical elements ranging from the spherical disposition of celestial bodies, the angularity of the architectural plane and the human body as a principle of scale. Each pictorial element implies the search for equilibrium between two distinct postures; this notion of balance is materialized in the mediation found in conversation and dialogue.

With each exhibition, Celeste assumes a complementary role as a host in order to invite the spectator not only in the sense of contemplation but rather in the involvement with the ceremonial. The concurrence of painting, sculpture and action triggers a breaking point from the mundane and pushes towards an affective participation. In this setting the sensorial and emotional realms are recognized as legitimate sources of knowledge and an experience of hospitality and acknowledgment can take place without restrictions. 

Alejandro García Contreras (1982, Tapachula Chiapas, Mexico)  earned a BA in Visual Arts from the National Institute of Fine Arts (Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes) in Mexico City, Mexico. Contreras characterizes his creative work by experimentation and dialogue between different materials and technical resources, making his work a mix between various media such as painting, sculpture, photography, video and graphics. The themes of his work are linked to his personality, and through his artistic projects, he explores topics and themes inspired by contemporary popular culture, Mexican folklore, myth, occultism and religion.

His work was the winning acquisition of the 2006 Artfest WTC, and he is a two-time recipient of the FONCA / Young Creators Scholarship. Contreras has held solo exhibitions at Proyecto NASAL, Gamma Galleria, David Castillo, Albertz Benda, House of Gaga, Travesia Cuatro, Saenger Galeria, Swivel Gallery, and Eito Eiko among others. He has been included in art fairs such as NADA, New York and Miami with Swivel Gallery and ArtOsaka with Eito Eiko. He is currently in residency at Art Explora - Cité internationale des arts, Paris, France.

Floria González (1980, Monterrey) is a painter and photographer living and working in Mexico City. Using photography, video, installation, performance and painting, Floria creates fantastical scenes that bring together past, present, and imaginary futures. Her emotive, atmospheric paintings engage with art historical referents, from Toile de Jouy to Turner’s The Fighting Temeraire.

Floria often works in conversation with music, drawing on lyrical, emotive, and contextual elements of music. She is the creator and director of Floto Studio where she has directed music videos and documentaries for artists including Leonel García, Natalia Lafurcade, Torreblanca, Kaay, Sofi Mayen, Jazmín Solar, Sabino, Alondra de  la Parra and Chula de Clown. She has also collaborated with artists such as Matisse, Francisca Valenzuela, Aleks Syntek, Reik, Kevin Johansen, and Jorge Drexler. She has made concert visuals for Leonel Garcia, Natalia Lafourcade, Carla Morrison and Paty Cantú.

She has shown in group and solo exhibitions in Mexico City, Monterrey, New York, Austin, Los Angeles, Miami, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Berlin, Italy, Hong Kong, London, and Singapore.

Chavis Mármol (1982, Apan, Hidalgo) studied Visual Art at the the Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Hidalgo, later earning a Master’s in Visual Arts at Universidad Autónoma de México.

With little more than 10 years of experience, Mármol has participated in national and international exhibitions, and has received grants and prizes. In his workshop, he employs new technical approaches to a wide range of materials, creating complex and fun works of art that critique contemporary social, political, and economic contexts. Beyond his work as a painter, sculptor, or cartoonist, Mármol considers himself to be a conceptual artist, preparing cocktails of ideas which allow him to express his opinion regarding a complex and often meaningless present.

Hilda Palafox (1982, Mexico) Her work includes painting, drawing, ceramics, and textiles. Hidden in her strokes, the mystery of the feminine is balanced with the symbolism of the physical, emotional, and spiritual state; she explores the body as matter with the ability to mold itself. Her use of the figurative focuses on the female figure as a tool of expression.

The line, as a continuous succession of points, becomes important in Palafox's work, in which it is possible to observe the intersection of disciplines. The movement of the brush in both curved and straight lines traces the body mass of her characters that cover large parts of the canvas, made up of colorful and textured planes due to the materiality of the oil. Her training in graphic design has led her to focus her interest on the color and syntax of the image, as well as on the connection with the viewer through images that show daily activities turned into subtle analogies about emotions and the closest experiences of the human psyche.

Hilda Palafox lives and works in Mexico City. She studied at the Design School of the National Institute of Fine Arts (EDINBA). She has participated in exhibitions in cities such as Oaxaca, Querétaro, MexicoCity, Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Onomichi and has made murals in Mexico, the United States, Canada, Japan, and Brazil.

Rodrigo Red Sandoval (1985, Mexico City) is an alumnus of the Jan van Eyck Academie, The Netherlands (2018). He earned a Master of Fine Arts at The Glasgow School of Art, United Kingdom (2016), and a BA in Philosophy at UNAM, Mexico (2011). His awards include: The Royal British Society of Sculptors Bursary Award, United Kingdom (2017 -2018), Bloomberg New Contemporaries, United Kingdom (2016), Acquisition prize, Material Art Fair, Mexico (2022).He has been given grants by FONCA - CONACYT, Mexico (2014 -2016), the Mondriaan Fonds, The Netherlands (2020 and 2021) and the Amsterdam Fonds voor de Kunst,The Netherlands (2021). His work has been exhibited in places like: Deli Gallery, Mexico City (2023), Jack Barrett Gallery, New York (2023), No Man’s Art Gallery, Amsterdam (2023), guadalajara90210, Mexico City (2023), JOHS, Mexico City (2023), Center for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow (2021), Arti et Amicitiae, Amsterdam (2021), Punt WG, Amsterdam (2021 and 2019), Círculo de Bellas Artes, Madrid (2020), W139, Amsterdam (2019), Somers Gallery, London (2018 and 2015), Institute for Contemporary Arts, London (2016), Liverpool Biennale, Liverpool (2016), Museo de la ciudad de México, CDMX (2016), Casal Solleric, Palma de Mallorca (2016), Transmission, Glasgow (2016). He has served on panels at the Slade School of Art, UCL, London and taught at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam. He is co-founder of Mutter, a platform for contemporary art in Amsterdam.

Ismael Sentíes (1992, Mexico City) is a Mexican artist working in painting and drawing. He studied at ENPEG La Esmeralda and industrial design at the Universidad Iberoamericana. He pursued further training in workshops and courses at The New York Academy of Art, the San Agustín Arts Center, Universidad CENTRO and at the Espósito contemporary art laboratory in Madrid, Spain. He has carried out artistic residencies in Mexico and Spain. His work has been selected in biennials in Mexico and he has exhibited individually and/or collectively in Mexico, France, Spain, Argentina and Chile. In addition to his practice as a painter and draftsman, he has worked in art as a manager and gallery owner. He is a founding partner and the co-director of Cobertizo Art Residency and La Nao gallery.

Ismael's drawings and paintings explore dialectics inherent to the landscape genre: abstraction and figuration, harmony and chaos, proximity and distance. He has developed an organic, diffuse visual language, creating silhouettes that teeter on the edge of the recognizable. The artist conjures atmospheric scenes that occupy an ambivalent space that are affective and tactile, visceral and imaginary. Keenly interested in representation and interpretation, Sentíes paints images that open up to viewers over time, allowing us to examine how we make meaning.