The Ancient Incident is an immersive installation by the Mexican artist Leo Marz (Zapopan, 1979) that connects different moments, from the monumental historic sculpture to the contemporary snapshot.
A cast bronze finger is the instigator of this chain of associations. The sculpture is an exact copy of the finger of General Ignacio Zaragoza on a monument in Monterrey. Inspired by the fact that the Battle of Puebla (May 5, 1862) was the first to be relayed in real time by telegram, Marz associates this with contemporary interfaces where news are accessed immediately via touchscreens. The installation also includes sculptural drawings, one of which is derived from a group selfie found online. Between these poles of one historically significant and one fleeting moment, Marz suggests how modern technology and art render moments visible or invisible, and how the past, present, and future may be connected in unpredictable ways.
As part of the project, Marz will produce a series of actions attempting to suspend Zaragoza’s disembodied finger at the height of the original monument in the Museo Jumex’s plaza. Each attempt will employ a different support from cinematic chromo-keying, where the public will be confronted with a seemingly absurd physical situation, to an online documentation that will render the structure invisible leaving the finger floating in the air. More than an investigation of the line in space, Marz reconfigures the drawn line to suspend it and create dynamic situations where the public is implicated physically and metaphorically.
Leo Marz is an artist whose work encompasses painting, installation, video, performance, and music. His practice draws from contemporary media where physical and virtual spaces and timescales diverge. Familiar cartoon characters transform into abstract art, dialogues from online chatrooms are restaged in soap opera-like settings, and social media posts become painted scenes. Based in Monterrey, in addition to his artistic practice, Marz is the Director of the Arts Program at UDEM and co-founder of Lugar Común, an independent space in the city.