Concentrations 49: Miguel Angel Rios, "A Morir ('til Death)"
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Concentrations exhibition support was provided by the Donor Circle membership program through leadership gifts of Claire Dewar, Nancy and Tim Hanley, Caren Prothro, and Cindy and Howard Rachofsky. Air Transportation provided by American Airlines.
Marguerite and Robert Hoffman Galleries
Dallas Museum of Art
The Dallas Museum of Art presents Argentinean artist Miguel Angel Rios for the next exhibition in its international emerging artist series, Concentrations. In this exhibition, the artist uses the elegantly moving shapes of a Mexican street game to astonishing effect in a single five-minute video presentation.
Concentrations 49: Miguel Angel Rios consists of a video triptych - "A Morir ('til Death)" - shot from three different angles, of a popular Mexican pastime played with spinning tops on a grid called a 'trompos.' The five-minute video begins with one spinning top but quickly builds into a cacophonous profusion of tops in a single game involving thirty of the most skilled players in town (ages fourteen to fifty).
The installation presents the spinning tops straight-on at ground level, making them both ominous and startlingly human. As these elegant shapes whip across the screen, comically careening into one another and violently edging each other out of the picture, the dynamics of competition, invasion, aggression, and territorialism are played out both visually and aurally.
The simplicity of form and color, and the grace of the black tops spinning out of control, one after the other, highlight the arresting beauty of a local game that is universally recognizable.
Rios was born in Catamarca, Argentina, in 1943. Part of an older generation of artists, Rios has always been primarily concerned with the fundamental question of material and presentation, but he addresses these issues through local conventions and customs. While in Mexico in the 1980s, he worked extensively with clay, invoking pre-Columbian culture; later he began using maps and 'khipu,' an ancient Andean method of keeping records using knotted string.
The exhibition is organized by the Dallas Museum of Art and curated by Suzanne Weaver, Associate Curator of Contemporary Art at the Dallas Museum of Art.
The Dallas Museum of Art is supported, in part, by the generosity of DMA Members and donors, the citizens of Dallas through the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.