De la Mora and the Fragile Object
By Maria Goldverg
posted: 05-23-11
Gabriel de la Mora leans over his work table at MoLAA.
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40 year old Mexican artist, Gabriel de la Mora, has shocked, humored, and helmed the Central American conceptual art scene for a number of years now. His pieces are composed from an astonishing amount of different media and materials ranging from 'drawings' composed from human hair strands or alphabet soup to 'sculptures' made from post-it notes: de la Mora describes himself as "an artist who works [particularly] with ideas, possibilities and concepts."

And the favoritism awarded to him is not unwarranted. De la Mora's work truly ripens from a source of meticulous and thoughtful insight on the "work' art does to accomplish a genuine state of value and meaning: de la Mora details his process in the language of the avant-garde: "to find a balance between conceptual and formal considerations, constantly playing between concept and chance." It is in these dichotomies that the parodic cultural criticism implicit to his entire oeuvre finds its particular niche. De la Mora strives to continue the examination of the "object" as a potential, and potentially complicated, bearer of value and fetish in today's contemporary society—a question first introduced to the art world by Marcel Duchamp in 1915 when he produced the world's first readymade and "found object": the snow shovel, In advance of the broken arm (En prévision du bras cassé).

MoLAA, located in Long Beach CA, is currently honoring Duchamp's legacy by displaying 100 or so of de la Mora's small-scale objects on a "work table." The objects are displayed in such a way as to recall the of the artist's private studio. In this, the curators hope to spur a dialogue for and between the objects themselves. Any one of Duchamp's fans, but especially any one especially interested that old talking point of the Frankfurt school—the one that investigates the production of culture as a proto-Marxist mythology—would do well to pay this exhibit, Gabriel De La Mora: Frágil/ Fragile, a visit it closes on July 3, 2011.

More information can be found on the museum's website:

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