Mexico City (MEX)

Jorge Satorre

* 1979 in Mexico-City, Mexico

lives in Mexico-City and Barcelona, Spain.

Long active as an illustrator, Jorge Satorre today uses drawings in his art to deal with historical artefacts. He makes up new stories around them, interweaving facts and fiction, objects with images and texts. Based on historical situations, legends and lore are supplemented by personal experiences and stories. Satorre consistently works on perspectives that appear abnormal or isolated, yet break with generalizing narratives. His works have recently been shown at the Biennale in Cuena (2014); the Montevideo Biennale, Uruguay (2013); the Centro Cultural Montehermoso, Vitoria / Spain (2010); galería Xippas, Paris (2008); Process Room / Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2007) and La Casa Encendida, Madrid (2006).


EMIC ETIC? (GREENSTONE), (in collaboration with Joe Sheehan), 2013

EL RETROCESO 10, 2013/14

The eponymous words, emic and etic, describe two different approaches to cultural analysis. The missionary and linguist Kenneth Pike coined the terms in the 1950s as a hermeneutical contribution to scientific anthropology. Emic analyses the research dealing with the perspectives of natives, while etic incorporates the research perspective based on local knowledge. Satorre combines these two perspectives in his work Emic Etic? created for an exhibition in New Zealand. What knowledge would he bring along as an artist and how would he thus (not) understand the local culture?

A 2.5-kg jade from Guatemala, an important basic material for objects of the local Mesoamerican culture, was broken into two parts and sent to New Zealand. The artist Joe Sheehan replicated the two fragments in detail with jades from his family collection. Only the size was altered. In New Zealand, mainly the Pakehas (inhabitants of European descent) traded with jade. In 1997, the British Crown gave the formerly exclusive right to deal with jade back to the Maori (indigenous people) through the Treaty of Waitangi Act. In El retroceso 10, Satorre examines the handling of ethnological objects in Mexico. Since the 1970s, found pre-Columbian objects belong to the Mexican state and thus to the Anthropological Museum in Mexico City. A small community of Valle de Chalco Solidaridad built their own museum in agreement with the municipality, in which found objects are classified according to a unique system of order and usage—thus not only contradicting official museum categories but also calling into question their epistemic hegemony.