Weekly conversations…with Oscar Cueto (Studio Artist)

For the first edition in 2019, we’ve invited studio artist Oscar Cueto, in order to talk with him about his project MUME 2 (Mexican Museum/ Museo Mexicano), located at his working space studio 5, Hegelgasse 14, 1010 Vienna. Throughout the year it presents exhibition projects of Mexican based curators and artists, who are aiming to reverse the effect of unilateral history based on Western myths. They act as a kind of anchor in the collective imagination to create an initial empathy and then twist it to create parallel narratives.

MUME 2 is hosted by studio das weisse haus and will be presented in your studio. Why have you decided to use your working space as exhibition space?
I decided to use my studio as an exhibition space in a sense of irony compared to a museum. My studio looks more like an office, the walls are damaged, heating pipes run down the walls, the illumination is inefficient, it has access to three doors and so on. With theses structural difficulties you have to deal with, if you are invited to the show. In this sense, the presentation becomes more of a problem than an offert to legitimate your proposal. For me, this is a metaphor for migrating with all the difficulties and precariousness of starting over. And since my project is addressing emigration, the comparison becomes fundamental.

“The Butterfly Effect: Notes for a Possible Fiction” is the first presentation of MUME 2 and will be curated by Andrea Torreblanca de la Sierra. Why did you decide to invite her?
I have a list of people that I admire professionally. Some of them are also my friends with whom I have frequently worked – I as an artist and they as curators – most of them more or less of my generation. In the case of Andrea, I sensed that she would offer a project that would involve women in art and that her project could give a new vision to the idea that I have about MUME, which is limited by my personal vision as an artist.

Since I am based in Vienna, I don’t have the whole panorama of what is happening in Mexico. So I asked these colleagues and friends for recommendations from curators or artists they consider interesting. Behind the project MUME 2 is the story of Prometheus bringing fire to the civilization that is now in danger: in case of Mexico, which recently resists globalization and chose to reject the right wing, but at the same time will suffer the consequences of not alienating.The exhibition is tied to the names Adolf Loos (architect), Josephine Baker (entertainer) and Laura Bragg (museum director).

What do they have in common?
Taking the risk of explaining a project that is not mine, but I think Andrea tries to explain that historical events are not isolated but rather interconnected. In a poetic, artistic, historical or political sense, what happens here has repercussions on the other side of the world. And in that sense Laura Bragg, Alexander Calder, Josephine Baker, Adolf Loos, Yanieb Fabre and Sigmund Freud are all related by a series of historical facts and consequences as by a kind of pure coincidence or a random wish of the curator to put them on the same stage.

Interviewer for studio das weisse haus: Teresa Wally