James Cohan is pleased to present Talking Shit, an exhibition of new paintings, textiles, and ceramic murals by Eamon Ore-Giron, on view at 52 Walker Street from September 8 through October 21. This is Ore-Giron’s second solo exhibition with the gallery. The gallery will host an opening reception with the artist on Friday, September 8, from 6-8 PM. The artist will also be in conversation with writer, art historian, and professor Dr. C. Ondine Chavoya on Saturday, September 9, at 2 PM.
Known for his cross-cultural practice, which includes painting, music, and video, in this exhibition, Ore-Giron returns to and expands upon his Talking Shit series, a body of work he began in 2017 while living in Guadalajara, Mexico. The paintings, textiles, and ceramic tile works in the exhibition represent an imagined conversation between the artist and deities from Mexico and Peru’s ancestral past. With precisely rendered, vibrantly-colored, semi-abstract references to the gods Quetzalcoatl, Coatlicue, Amaru, and Inti, among others, Ore-Giron explores our ongoing relationship with symbols of culture and the ways in which they come to hold ideas around individual and collective identities.
Ore-Giron’s Talking Shit works reflect the artist’s consideration of how cultural symbols speak across history as their meanings shift over time. The renowned Mexican poet Octavio Paz wrote that in the four hundred years since the Spanish Conquest the famous Aztec (Mexica) statue of Coatlicue now housed in Mexico City’s Museo Nacional de Antropología has gone from “goddess to demon, from demon to monster, and from monster to masterpiece.” For Ore-Giron, this quote captures the ways in which cultural symbols are continually redefined and reinterpreted with the inevitable evolution and imposition of new contexts. This idea—the mutability of cultural symbols and the making and remaking of their significance—is a touchstone of Ore-Giron’s overall practice, and specifically has informed this body of work and his engagement with pre-Columbian deities from Incan, Chavín, Paracas, and Aztec civilizations. Drawing on academic histories as well as his own experiences, including extensive time spent in Mexico and Peru, Ore-Giron is keenly aware of the myriad ways these iconographies can circulate: they have been instrumentalized by varied nationalist and cultural agendas, been a critical part of the recuperation of diasporic knowledge, and can take on personal meaning for individuals. Ore-Giron has likewise remixed and reconsidered these traditional figures through his own lens. This re-imagining is a form of “talking shit,” a colloquial dialogue that takes the historical and cultural import of these symbols and brings them into the realm of personal exchange.