ASMA & Julio Ruelas : Inverse Sátiro Envy Pt. I & II, Curated by Rodrigo Ortiz Monasterio

7 June - 19 August 2023

"You were a lugubrious traveler of the realm of terror, with your fearsome face and weary expression, you rode on the lust of the billy goat, dragging the long darkness of your cloak.


Enrique González Martínez, To Julio Ruelas

PEANA is pleased to present Inverse Satiro Envy, parts I and II, an exhibition curated by Rodrigo Ortiz Monasterio that explores the concept of contemporary decadence, drawing parallels to the decadent movement of the late 1900s and contemporary culture. It uses meta-irony and satire to discuss post-cancel culture as a symptom of a metamodern spirit in a post-pandemic world.  The show contextualizes the work of the Mexican symbolist artist Julio Ruelas and Mexico City based artistic duo ASMA.

Julio Ruelas' canonical works are framed with five lamp sculpture works by ASMA that illuminate them. The lamps blend designs from different eras, evoking early modern times with a French influence. The lampshade reliefs, made of silicone, contrast classical design with elongated compositions inspired by symbolist tropes of decadent imagination. Additionally, the reliefs incorporate animated stylized language reminiscent of late 90s and early 2000s cartoons, reflecting the contemporary decadent spirit of Gen Z and their nostalgia for music subcultures like punk, emo, or hardcore aesthetics. The composition of the lamp reliefs made by ASMA is inspired by the literary interplay of Ruelas, with poetic prose mimicking the cryptic style of female decadent writers. Certain parts of these texts become titles for the lamp sculptures, hinting at the process of translation between art forms.

The central work that also gives the title to the show, is a large bronze sculpture embedded with contemporary found objects and attempts to anachronically unify the formal language of the romantic classical expression of human figure sculpture with the accumulation of idiosyncratic contemporary objects from our present. This amalgamation imbues the work with a humoristic quality that’s suggestive of a hoarders junk garage . The sculpture challenges traditional gender roles by depicting a male nude adopting a relaxed feminine pose and incorporating objects that contradict gender norms. This "masc-fatale" figure explores androgynous themes present in classical decadent works while addressing conflicting misogynistic portrayals of women in Ruelas's works on paper.