Currently on view at kurimanzutto gallery in Mexico City is Dr. Lakra’s newest body of work, the result of an anthropological and ethnographical study that began with his fascination for tattoos. Comprised of several groups of statuary objects and graphic symbols, the exhibition Monomito represents a bold incursion into the world of sculpture and assembly. Known for being a compulsive collector of all sorts of ephemera, Dr. Lakra has devoted many years to building a sort of “oddity compendium” that encompasses several cultures and perspectives from his travels across the globe.
The constitution and symbolism of the totem serves as a limitless platform for Dr. Lakra, who in this case applies everyday objects from different countries and contexts to create a dialogue between iconography and ideology that surpasses the limits of an imposed morality. The entwined history between religion and art has served as means of preserving the ancestry of symbols and representation of contemporary life; a constant dialogue between past and present that is both glorified and desecrated in this richly diverse exhibition.
Nothing is sacred within the context of this body of work. Dr. Lakra’ s transgressive object combinations subvert their inherent connotations. The very title of this exhibition is a pun, a suggestive word that can relate to two concepts, one of myth and the other of monolith. Between the mix of religious icons and tribal elements one can’t help but notice the phallic references that appear throughout the compositions, a tongue-in-cheek detail that goes well with the rest of this darkly-humourous show. Acting as a controlled chaos of sorts, this series marks an entry into new territory for the artist, who is usually known for his signature works on paper and vintage photographs. Representing appropriation at its best, this exhibition is proof that everything is subject to transformation in contemporary society.
Dr. Lakra: Monomito, kurimanzutto gallery, Gobernador Rafael Rebollar 94, San Miguel Chapultepec, Miguel Hidalgo, Mexico City, until 5 September 2015.
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1. Dr. Lakra, Monomito installation view, 2015. Courtesy of the artist and kurimanzutto gallery.