Stevenson presents ‘La Cucaracha’ by Pieter Hugo, the photographer’s seventh exhibition with the gallery.
This latest body of work is the result of four trips to Mexico over the last two years, each spanning close to a month, with Hugo travelling from the industrialised zone of Mexico City to the desert of Hermosillo and the mountainous regions of Ixtepec and San Cristóbal.
La Cucaracha (The cockroach) is a folk song of contested origin. Tracing back as far as the 1800s, it gained prominence as a satirical metaphor during the Mexican revolution when rebel and government forces alike invented political lyrics that commented on the events and effect of the war. Contemporary use of the song has spanned superhero movies, cartoons and recreational drugs. As with Hugo’s images, the song articulates violence, power, camaraderie and humour as well as the country’s attitudes to sex and death.
The exhibition marks the first series in which Hugo uses descriptive titles, making more apparent the literary and art historical referencing that have long formed part of his practice. Images such as After Siqueiros, Zapata and Adelita and the sequence of Muxe portraits in particular foreground the country’s canon of visual expression.
‘La Cucaracha’ is set to be published by Editorial RM (Spain and Mexico) later this year. This is Hugo’s first new body of work to be exhibited following his mid-career retrospective, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, which travelled from Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg to Museum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte, Dortmund, Germany, and Museu Coleção Berardo, Lisbon (2017-18).
Those interested are invited to join the opening from 6pm to 8pm.
Venue: Stevenson Gallery, Ground floor, Buchanan Building, 160 Sir Lowry Rd, Woodstock, Cape Town
Time: Mon to Fri 9am to 5pm | Sat 10am to 1pm