CAA - Contemporary Art Archipelago

Minerva Cuevas

(b. 1975) Lives and works in Mexico City.

The artistic practice of Minerva Cuevas is characterised by socially engaged and site-specific actions that take place in a range of settings from public space to museums and the Internet. She works across a variety of media including photography and video, performance and public interventions, her works are always grounded on in-depth critical research. She is known for, amongst others, irreverent tampering with corporate and institutional identities, such as in her Del Monte campaign, which references political history in South America and the privatisation of the world’s natural resources.

Cuevas also examines in her practice the potential of informal and alternative economies. Her works allow the viewers an insight into the complexities of economic and political organisation of the social sphere and its structures. Furthermore, the works offer a possibility for playfully subversive participation in these economies – such as in the Petticoat Lane Market in London, where Cuevas introduced its own new currency (S·Coop), or by applying for an international student identity card -one of her MVC products.

In 1998 Cuevas founded Mejor Vida Corp. (Better Life Corporation), an ongoing project that distributes free products and services like subway tickets, student cards, recommendation letters, and barcode stickers for cheaper foods. Her works thus often appear as cultural experiments, where artistic practice meets political activism. Recently she has been focusing on, for example, the oil industry in Mexico linked to its environmental and historical dimension.

In Turku Archipelago Cuevas has been interested in he ecology of the Baltic Sea and fishing, the local history of pilots and the global marine trade this reflects, as well as radio communications.

Minerva Cuevas has exhibited widely, such as in the Biennales of Liverpool (2010), Berlin (2010), Lyon (2007), São Paulo (2006), Sharjah (2005), Sydney (2004), Istanbul (2003). She has had solo exhibitions in the Whitechapel Art Gallery (London 2010), Van Abbemuseum (Netherlands 2008), Kurimanzutto (Mexico City 2007), Kunsthalle Basel (Switzerland 2007), The Luckman Fine Arts Complex (Los Angeles 2006), The Banff Centre (Canada 2005), DAAD Galerie (Berlin 2004), Vienna Secession (Austria 2001), and has taken part in exhibitions at, amongst others Centre Pompidou (Paris 2010), Kunstverein (Hamburg 2007), Redcat (Los Angeles 2006), Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam 2005), Palais de Tokyo (Paris 2003), PS1 (New York 2002).

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