Teresa Margolles

Ciudad Juárez

June 12 - July 30, 2005

The gallery Peter Kilchmann is pleased to announce the second solo exhibition Ciudad Juárez by Teresa Margolles in

Switzerland. The artist shows new video work and room-installation.

With the exhibitionʼs title Ciudad Juárez (Juárez City) Teresa Margolles refers to the industrial city with the same name in

the North of Mexico in the state of Chihuahua. This city is not only known as the Capital of the Maquiladoras1, but it

achieved tragic fame due to an unsolved series of murders of young women. Since 1993, more than approximately 400

girls and women have been murdered in Ciudad Juárez, and between 400 and 500 women have disappeared without a

trace. The mysterious circumstances under which the murders are committed give reason for many speculations. Most

murders have remained unsolved until today, preliminary inquiries and investigations are stopped and hence, womenʼs

rights are consistently ignored. Last month the artist did a trip to Ciudad Juárez in order to do some research at the actual

place of the crime.

Margolles exhibits a video work titled Lote Bravo, Lomas de Poleo, Anapra y Cerro de Cristo Negro which shows an endless

seeming car-journey. Paradoxically, while the presented times of day are frequently changing, the work contains

sounds (audio work Lomas de Poleo, Lote Bravo, Cerro de Cristo Negro and Anapra) of the night in a desert. Margolles

displays the often lonesome ways to work of native women from the production units of the worldʼs most powerful companies

to their flats in the poorer areas of the city. As a contrast to this, a text with statistical facts about the city and the series

of murders committed there is attached to the wall in the gallery.

On the floor of the exhibition room, there are distributed earth-coloured, rough seeming, brick-like objects, standing as well

as lying. Teresa Margolles herself has collected the sand for the production of these bricks at more than five different

places in and around Ciudad Juárez. These places are the ones where the corpses of sexually abused women were

found. Thus, the handmade objects titled Lote Bravo function as individual deputies of the victims from the city of the dead


In 1990, Teresa Margolles belonged to the founding members of the group SEMEFO (Servicio Médico Forense, 1990-

1999). Since then, she has realised performances, installations, objects, interventions in public, and videos in the context

of this group. For some years now, the artist has been working autonomously. Her early work deals with death and the

several victims of physical violence in Mexico City. She encountered the dead in the morgues of the 22 million metropolis.

Besides others, one material Margolles has worked with is the water with which the corpses were washed before the autopsy.

Many of her works are artful transformations of and with water, human fat, blood and lifeless bodies (fetus and

horses). They convince because of their reserved “objectness” as well as their shocking directness/radicalness. Margollesʼ

work mirrors social reality that reflects a certain level of societal reality in Mexico.

Teresa Margollesʼ work has been shown in many exhibitions until today, e.g. in P.S.1 in New York, in the Kunst-Werke

Berlin, in the South London Gallery in London and several times in South America like in Puerto Alegre, Brasil and Cali,

Colombia. In 2004, the artist was dedicated an amazing solo exhibition by the Museum of Modern Art Frankfurt on the

Main, titled Muerte sin fin (catalogue with the same title available). This year, she is represented with two exhibitions in

France (Frac Loraine in Metz; Centre dʼart contemporain de Brétigny, until 9th July 2005).

The artist will be present at the opening. For press information, pictures or further questions please contact Cynthia Krell at

tel. +41 44 440 39 31 or via email: c.krell@kilchmanngalerie.com

In the project room kilchmann plus we additionally present the installation El Soplon (1997) consisting of paintings and

drawings by Francis Alÿs (*1959) and a mayor installation titled Just Kidding (2004) by Andro Wekua (*1977).