Open Portfolio Exhibition by Said Dokins in Art Latino Gallery
‘Writing is a way to transcend the limits of language.’
OPEN PORTFOLIO, the latest exhibition by contemporary Mexican artist Said Dokins, showcases a unique body of work that he has developed over the last decade. The exhibition, located at the Art Latinou gallery in the heart of Mexico City’s historic center, features a carefully curated selection of objects, graphics, painting, photography, and installation. It aims to trace a common thread throughout the artist’s oeuvre.
One of the featured series in the exhibition is Heliografías de la memoria (Heliographies of Memory), which consists of a photographic piece that captures Dokins’ ephemeral calligraphic light interventions in public spaces. These interventions create a trail of light that disappears as soon as it is suggested, and the photograph captures all of the coordinated light movements in a single image, revealing the contrast between the fluidity of the light and the ordered static nature of the space. Dokins’ work contemplates the changing use and perception of specific locations, the erosion and symbolic dissolution of a place, and the recurrent use of a space that imbues it with greater significance.
Another series in the exhibition is Community, which features five graphic pieces that Dokins created during his participation in the 2021 Calle Libre festival in Vienna, Austria. In collaboration with the festival and the art graphic studio Leap Editions, Dokins produced two screen prints with seven unique variations, as well as a Risograph print. Working mainly with signs, texts, and language, Dokins utilized words collected from people he met on the streets of Vienna, creating all of the layers for the printing design himself in the studio. The serigraphy was created in a 100% analog process, with Dokins directly tracing the negatives.
Two pieces from Dokins’ Vivan las Fuerzas Revolucionarias Clandestinas Armadas (Long Live the Clandestine Armed Revolutionary Forces) series are also on display. These sculptural objects are shaped like machetes and are made of laser-cut metal, with each piece containing a caligraphic cutout.
The machete, a tool used in farming, is also a symbol of insurgency and social struggle. In contemporary times, where the arms trade has contributed to the devaluation of life, the machete acquires a mythical and timeless quality. The images it evokes range from colonial struggles to the guerrilla movements that have arisen in response to the repression and structural violence of capitalism.
The Palimpsestos del Devenir (Palimpsests of Becoming) series, which originated from a set of collective actions, is another highlight of the exhibition. The works on display are a continuation of Dokins’ experiences in Tijuana, where he spoke with migrants who were on their way to the United States. Dokins took key words and phrases from these conversations, incorporating them into his work, which focuses on the process of becoming and the fleeting nature of existence.
Overall, OPEN PORTFOLIO offers an opportunity to experience a diverse range of Dokins’ work, from calligraphic interventions in public spaces to graphic prints and sculptural objects. The exhibition runs until April 29, 2023, and is a must-see for anyone interested in contemporary art that engages with social and political issues.