This queeratorial project uses an object THE PIÑATA –whose main function is the representation of a symbol– to breakdown ideas about our favorite icons and fetiches regarding creativity THE CHAIR and identity MEXICAN(X). ¿Original, pirata PIRATE o OR piñata? is a selection of iconic mexican(x) chairs. This exhibition considers a parallel situation: a) The Chair, an iconic and hegemonic exercise of material culture deployed by both design and architecture. b) The Mexican Chair, an infinite identitary essay, is rebuilt with destructible materials–cardboard, paper, clay, twine and newspapers–as a piñata. This exhibition brings up the problematics of the representation of Mexican identity by piñatizing [a material and conceptual pixelation] the materials and forms of the chairs.

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  • PIÑATA OF ™ Cross Cultural Chair Mexico, Matteo Guarnaccia with Studio José de la O and Los Patrones 2018

  • PIÑATA OF ™ Silla Adrián, Muebles Manuel 2012

  • PIÑATA OF ™ Silla México, Diego Matthai 1970

  • PIÑATA OF ™ Sillón Fidencio, Andrés Lhima 2006

  • PIÑATA OF ™ Me siento como en México, Alejandra Antón Honorato 2015

  • PIÑATA OF ™ Silla Prickly, Valentina González Wohlers 2009

  • PIÑATA OF ™ Silla STANDARD, Luis Vega para Tributo 2016

  • PIÑATA OF ™ Sillón Sala de Lectura Archivo, Fabien Cappello 2017

  • PIÑATA OF ™ Pedazo de Escaleras, Liliana Ovalle 2003

  • PIÑATA OF ™ Silla Ch’up, Claudia Suárez Ahedo 2018

  • PIÑATA OF ™ Silla Equipal, Pedro Ramírez Vázquez ca. 1970

  • PIÑATA OF ™ Sillón Miguelito, Eleuterio Cortés with Luis Barragán ca. 1947

  • PIÑATA OF ™ Silla Adela, Xanath Lammoglia y Andrés Amaya, Balastudio 2005

  • PIÑATA OF ™ Silla Equipal, Diseño Tradicional s.f.

  • PIÑATA OF ™ Silla Mano, Pedro Firedeberg ca. 1970

  • PIÑATA OF ™ Banco Txt.03, Txt.ure 2016

  • PIÑATA OF ™ Banca Chac, Mauricio Lara 2005

  • PIÑATA OF ™ Silla Sam Corona, José García Torres 2005

  • PIÑATA OF ™ Silla Mitla, Pedro Reyes 2019

  • PIÑATA OF ™ Banco Txt.03, Txt.ure 2016

  • PIÑATA OF ™ Banco BAN, Héctor Esrawe 2011

It is not design.TM
It is not a chair.TM
It is a piñata.TM

¿Original, pirata o piñata? is a queeratorial project that reframes the status quo of design in Mexico using a common ritualistic appraisal : make it a piñata. Piñatas are a peculiar–quasi oxymoronic–phenomena of material culture. They are made to celebrate and designed to be broken. They venerate a symbol not only through its recreation but through its destruction as well. Piñatas are a symbolic game.

A game that this exhibition aims to use to undress different problematics.

Firstly YA LE DISTE UNA, it touches on the fetichization of an “underdeveloped or “global south” aesthetic, as well as some tendencies to (self) exotize. In the selection of 20 iconic mexican chairs, we make reference to what is considered to be a “mexican identity” from an othered perspective. Secondly YA LE DISTE DOS the exhibition puts in crisis the role of The Chair as the hegemonic design exercise that populates design schools, exhibitions, fairs, books, shops and design collections. If The Chair is piñata in the same way a kid fantasizes about a cartoon character, does the hegemony of The Chair becomes fiction as well? Thirdly YA LE DISTE TRES, this exhibition is a public invitation to reconsider the burning potential of design. The piñatas must be sng to–blindfolded–in order to be activated. We must fight–stick in hand–to fulfill its promise : hard earned candy.

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The photographs of the exhibition at the Museo de Arte Popular were taken by Daniela Ramírez

The photographs of the piñatas over a white background, and their zooms, are by Aureliano.

Piñata master: Cristina Amezcua · Photography: Aureliano (Andrés Alejos) · Build-up: Oswaldo Rodríguez, Cristopher López · * All the rights to the chairs, as well as their credits belong to their original creators. Tony Macarena only takes credit for their selection as candidates for piñatization.

We thank the Mexican designers and piñateers, whose work makes our culture a true party. We also thank the Abierto Mexicano de Diseño, Cristina Ayón, Daniela Mercado, The Canales Morales Family, The Olávarri Pons Family, Fátima Abarca, Juan Carlos Sánchez, Juan Martínez, Luis Mariles, Mario Ballesteros, Museo de Arte Popular, Matilde Canales Morales, Pasagüero, Pía Laborde, Sofía Morales Jiménez, Shiro Beta (Luis Rodríguez) and Verónica Avelino.

Exhibition #001 · official title: ¿Original, pirata o piñata? · space: patio of the Popular Art Museum REVILLAGIGEDO 11, HISTORIC CENTER, MEXICO CITY, MEXICO · dates: 09 – 20 OF OCTOBER 2019 during AND AFTER the Abierto Mexicano de Diseño #Popular · display design: Tony Marena · text editing: Tony LORENA CANALES · graphic design: Macarena ALEJANDRO OLÁVARRI 2019TM