For over twenty years Pablo Vargas Lugo has distilled a repertoire of resources that make images and references resonate in alien registers, communicating to viewers the humor, uncanniness or awe that those displacements propitiate. In his work, a series of recurrent interests such as space, technology, writing, the measurement of time or the mimetic and dissuasive patterns of some insects, are brought in relationship with each other through unusual technical, visual and conceptual alignments.
The main protagonist of this exhibition is a particularly ubiquitous element not only in the landscape of Mexico City, but in almost all urbanized areas of the country: a concrete pole of brutalist and functional design, an inert support whose dissemination through the territory announces the penetration of the vertigo of energy and data. Placed in the gallery like a missile, the heavy pole acts both as a charade of aggression and as a reproductive organ; its destructive or pregnant load pointing to the celestial bodies that rush to hide under the horizon. Some potential targets of this instrument are seen in the projection that illuminates the bottom of the gallery: a sequence of telescopic lunar craters that take, like natural monuments from their impact, the names of illustrious philosophers, naturalists and astronomers, eternalized as observers Dumb from the inert lunar surface.
Accompanying the Ovipositor, five paintings hanging as banners represent what looks like sheaths for swords or sabers floating on a background that suggests both a liquid and a stone. The bold patterns that cover them, however, do not have their origin in heraldry or military codes, they are the designs that cover the skin of the larvae of five species of Lepidoptera. Here, Vargas Lugo's interest in the patterns of butterfly wings take a step towards earlier stages of their metamorphic process, pointing to its most vulnerable and prolonged state: that of the caterpillar, in which all cryptic and deterrent resources are used to ensure survival.
The appearances of power and vulnerability, aggression and precariousness are exchanged between these works, offering the simile of an armory hall as protection for the ductile instruments of regeneration.
Pablo Vargas Lugo was born in Mexico City, 1968.
We are thankful for the support of the Astronomy Institute of the National University of Mexico (UNAM), Observatorio Astronómico Nacional Tonanzintla, Mtro. José H. Peña, Atanancio Pani, Artemio Narro, Rafael Ortega and PANIK.