Minerva Cuevas
Feast and Famine

kurimanzutto, Mexico City

September 30, 2015

Minerva Cuevas
Feast and Famine

September 22–October 24, 2015

Gob. Rafael Rebollar 94
Col. San Miguel Chapultepec
11850 Mexico
Hours: Tuesday–Thursday 11am–6pm,
Friday–Saturday 11am–4pm

T +52 55 5256 2408


In a time of generalized indifference and skepticism, Minerva Cuevas’ (b. 1975, Mexico) projects are characterized by a critical investigation of social realities. Her work seeks to provoke reflection on established systems, employing irony and humor to analyze the power structures that underlie social and economic ties. In this exhibition, Cuevas uses cacao as a material to reveal the colonial processes inherent in global trade and commerce. Chocolate is used to transform and distort images of quotidian consumption in order to question the notions of value, exchange, and property that rule the capitalist economy. 

The Feast and Famine exhibit had its beginnings in the study of the coin collection at the Museum of Ethnography in Frankfurt. From early inquiries into the use of cacao as currency in the pre-hispanic era, Cuevas began to investigate the cultivation of cacao in present-day Mexico, as well as the surrounding conflicts and commercial interests. At the same time, Cuevas analyzes the term cannibal, and how it has been used throughout history. During the colonial era, the European perception of this phenomenon allowed the demonization of the “revolting Indians” and initiated the process of “civilizing” the inhabitants of the “New World.” Today, social cannibalism is reflected in the exploitative labor practices associated with contemporary consumption. The manner in which particular ethnographic objects and histories are acquired, appropriated, and “owned” by institutions and governments can be seen as a way of controlling and consuming the other, a cultural cannibalism being played out on the symbolic level. 

Conceived as a playful essay, Cueva’s interdisciplinary exhibition combines different aspects of anthropology, product design and economics. The pieces in the show serve as tools to discuss the condition of the individual under the capitalist regime: the constant abuse, dispossession and estrangement from ancestral and cultural identity, as well as the latent possibility of revolt.

Daniel Aguilar Ruvalcaba
¿Por qué no fui tu amigo? 
September 22–October 24, 2015

A complex negotiation of the economic value, identity, trauma and personal history, ¿Por qué no fui tu amigo? (Why was I not your friend?) is the inaugural manifestation of an ambitious, complex project rooted in Ruvalcaba’s ongoing interest in issues of economy, production, utility and authorship. The primary point of departure for this project is the recent awarding of a Fundación BBVA-Bancomer/MACG grant, which is both a production and educational grant for emerging artists in Mexico. 

Fascinated by the bank’s philanthropic mission toward culture, Ruvalcaba elected to take this philanthropic mission and stand it on its head by linking it up with a personal family trauma. While still a child, the artist’s father lost the family’s home through a series of purportedly poor investment choices. Thus, in an attempt to reenact this familial misfortune, live it out and even philanthropically exercise it, so to speak, like a trauma, Ruvalcaba decided to seek out someone else who not only bore his father’s same name, Juan Manuel Aguilar, but also possessed a debt with BBVA-Bancomer, and then pay off his symbolic father’s debt with the grant itself.   

Ruvalcaba presents an exhibition so artfully encumbered with contradiction and paradox that it seems to be on the point of continual collapse. Needless to say, it is no mere coincidence that these contradictions and paradoxes reflect the nature of contemporary finance and debt itself.    

– Chris Sharp 

Daniel Aguilar Ruvalcaba’s ¿Por qué no fui tu amigo? is the first of a series of six exhibitions to be curated by Chris Sharp for kurimanzutto. Taking place over the course of a year, the series will focus exclusively on emerging Mexican or Mexico-based artists. The intention of the project is to train a rigorous eye that sheds light upon some of the most active and challenging actors in the current art scene. kurimanzutto seeks to provide them with a unique platform within the local and international context, welcoming the development of a new generation of artists. 

For additional information, please contact: info [​at​] kurimanzutto.com / T +52 55 5256 2408