Los Angeles, CA, 90021
(Los Angeles) Aparador LA and Aldo Chaparro Studios are proud to present Mercancía de Pacotilla, the first U.S. solo exhibition for Mexico City-born visual artist Marek Wolfryd. The exhibition surveys the dominant models of artistic expression seen in late-stage capitalism and the circulation of images, merchandise, and intellectual property deeply rooted in Western thought. Continuing his research into the dynamic interplay between the Far East and the West, the artist relates early modern-era trade routes connecting Asia, America, and Europe, specifically the Manila Gilleon, The Road to China, and The Fleet of the West Indies, with contemporary visual culture that mirrors post-capitalist global markets of fabrication and consumption.
The transformative period of global trade throughout the 16th and 19th centuries is what Wolfryd and several historians recognize as the initiation of the Modern Age, positioning the birthplace of globalization as present-day Mexico City. Informed by this intense commercial relationship between New Spain (present-day Mexico) and Zhonggou (present-day China), all the featured works in the exhibition are either totally or partially produced in China and later shipped and assembled in Mexico.
The exhibition's title, Mercancía de Pacotilla, references the historical term used for early modern merchandise that high-ranking sailors and captains traveling were permitted to bring on board for personal investment or payment. These goods often evaded taxes and inspections, facilitating the illicit contraband of various commodities across oceans and continents.
Now arrived in Los Angeles, the exhibited works become artifacts that unveil the intricate web of pre-existing and active globalization networks. They shed light on the profound impact of these networks on Western culture, revealing the assimilation of America into the tapestry of Western ideology that started at the beginning of the Modern Era.
Marek Wolfryd (b. 1989, Mexico City) is a multidisciplinary artist that explores the intersection of artistic and economic narratives in the context of culture, history, and society. Through a wide range of media, such as process art, ready-mades, sculpture, installations, video, and performance, Wolfryd reviews cultural movements and their aesthetic discourses, generally delving into micro-historical phenomena surrounding these great chronicles. Through long-term research projects, Wolfryd builds a conceptual framework that exposes the complexity of certain narratives that exist both within and outside the spheres of symbolic influence of the Western world. His works reflect and explore the means of mass production, consumer culture, copyright, authorship, and the mechanisms of art creation and distribution.