For his latest Mexico City expo, curator Gerado Contreras examined what happens if you cross La Toya Jackson and Yoko Ono with psychedelic drugs
What happens when you cross La Toya Jackson, Yoko Ono, technological advancements and – just for good measure – psychedelic drugs? Well, one result of this somewhat unusual concoction is the group exhibition, ‘Plastic Ono Kuchi Kaiai’ at the Preteen gallery in Mexico City this month. Featuring work by Laura Brothers, Nicholas Sassoon, Yoshi Sodeoka and Mario Zoots, we spoke to curator Gerado Contreras about the exhibition…
Dazed Digital: What is the meaning behind the name of the exhibition (Plastic Ono Kuchi Kaiai)?
Gerado Contreras: I'm referencing Yoko Ono and La Toya Jackson. They were both in my mind while I was thinking about the show. For this show I thought, "Yoko Ono meets La Toya Jackson".
DD: The artists within the exhibition explore technological methods of creation. Has computerisation and digitalisation affected modes of curation?
Gerado Contreras: Ever since I started making shows I've been working with digital art. It's more about translating work that exists on the internet – or work that is mostly seen on a computer screen – transform into a "real" exhibition space.
DD: How important is it for you, as a curator, to create 3-dimensional exhibitions, in terms of installation vs print and painted works?
Gerado Contreras: My background as an architect I think has a lot to do with how I think of installation and display. The process is most of the time the same, even when I make painting shows I see the work for the first time in my computer's screen.
DD: Can you describe the themes within this particular exhibition?
Gerado Contreras: In ‘Plastic Ono Kuchi Kaiai’, the threshold between psychedelia and terror is examined starting from a reflexion on a hypothetical clash between the poetics of Yoko Ono and the poetics of La Toya Jackson. When I say psychedelia, I am implying a mental state induced by psychedelic drugs. Is there indeed a limit, a "threshold" between psychedelia and terror?
Or, is terror contained in the psychedelic experience? Where does Yoko Ono's terror lay and where is La Toya Jackson's psychedelia? Can they meet? And what happens when they meet? When meditating on the psychedelic in La Toya Jackson's work I like to use the term "the divine bliss of tackiness". When tackiness represents a particle of a sublimated terrifying psychedelic experience. I like to think of a brief moment in a DMT trip.
DD: What have you got planned next for the Preteen gallery?
Gerado Contreras: At Preteen Gallery I would like to lean more towards a programme for curatorial and artistic experimentation, rather than a regular program of a commercial art gallery.
Plastic Ono Kuchi Kaiai will run until April 16th at the Preteen Gallery, Mexico City.