Cosmogonía doméstica by Damián Ortega is an artwork commissioned and produced by Fundación Jumex Arte Contemporáneo for the Plaza of the Museo Jumex, its first and new venue in Mexico City. Curated by Rosario Nadal, this piece inaugurates a program for commissions and acquisitions for temporary display at this site.
The perpetual movement of Cosmogonía doméstica and its ever-changing choreography produce ephemeral associations between the elements and the public, triggering a continuous re-evaluation of our surrounding space. The combination of the pieces that compose this work of art creates a type of self-constructed mythology or epic poem, spanning regions and ways of creating as diverse as Damián Ortega’s work. Art that goes from the heroism of softening a “María” biscuit to achieving its distension (an exercise to corrupt its integrity and adulterate its physical composition, immersing it in a cup of coffee) to the trivial gesture of taking apart a more ordinary than common object–a sedan car freed of its functions, finally putting aside its usefulness and the modest commitments to efficiency and effectiveness of an articulated whole, a system of intercommunications–“the cosmic thing.”
This work might surprise because of its infinite interest in the minuscule and enclosed space that represents the artist’s apartment, an immediate surrounding that implies the specialized and profound understanding of the worn out carpet, the erotic properties of the washing machine, the geometry of the refrigerator, the encoded theology in the sink. The stars are lined up, private and public space are finally combined. On this occasion, the work is located outside and lives as if it would inhabit the interior of a home. Bread expands through the cosmos and the sidereal space looks more like a dinning room, a kitchen or a bathroom. In order to observe the space, it is no longer necessary to look upward. All this is finished. There are no more expectations. There is no future. The man of tomorrow and of the next day does not exist. There is no sky or celestial pattern. Hell, above or below us, does not exist. It seems that this is what Earth offers, and we are on our own. There is only this continuous and starving present. The space shapes the dough, the dough transforms the space. Does the tortilla maker agree with the philosopher that there is neither dough nor infinity? How can we reconcile the pleasure of the stars with political space, the possible with the cosmic? There is a universe around the corner. Things do not rest, they are events in themselves. Objects formed by the tension of forces in the movement of atoms in combustion give things their rigidity; it is atomic excitation that cinches and swells objects. Movement widens blood vessels, makes them rigid, like a tense rubber band, or like a rope swinging centrifugally that hydrates like a muscle. Objects are in perpetual movement, otherwise they pop, deflate, grow flaccid. Objects are excited. The most mundane necessities send us spinning, we attend that which lies immediately before us. Or… is there something or someone else here? Stars made of hard bread shiver in the early morning in their kitchens. Nights and eggs are speckled with stars. The domestic quotidian universe… the homemade cosmos. All I know is I haven’t had my dinner.