The latest exhibition at Mariane Ibrahim Gallery in Chicago touches on the exploration of not only experience but also Blackness. For the Mexico-City based artist, Clotilde Jiménez, his series of collages serve as a way to unwrap his personal narrative. The combination of the physical process of collage and bringing together elements to a great understanding and the final product is an intimate experience for not only Jiménez but for the viewers.
The grander subjects of Race and gender are explored throughout “The Contest”. The topics of race and gender in the media often show a linear approach, one that is far from reality. Collaging isn’t about conforming which allows for these subject matters to truly blossom in their own right. Yet the commonality for the public and the pieces are the interwoven aspect that brings these pieces together, and what brings spectators to this show.
The layering process of the collages allows for the works to be divided up into different emotional plane fields. The beauty of Jiménez exploring larger topics with no uniform answer is the multitude of perspectives that exist in the colorful pieces that come together.
Jiménez is not only Black but also Hispanic as well as queer which speaks to a multitude of perspectives in his own right. As a multidimensional artist, investigating identity is not only a part of a personal journey but to investigate it in a visual manner allows self-reflection from the viewer.
Familial relationships are extremely influential for self-development, but Jiménez’s relationship with his father is one that takes precedence throughout this show. From the tight grips and the stances of his collaged figures echoes his father who was not only a boxer but also a bodybuilder. Jiménez juxtapositions his queer identity to the masculinity of boxer creates an examination of two subjects that often people separate.
“The Contest” truly examines how sexual orientation, gender, and race coincide in our society through a vulnerable portrayal of Jiménez’s personal experience.
Pose No. 4, 2020. Courtesy of the Artist and Mariane Ibrahim Gallery
The multitude of topics throughout this show allows for the viewer to understand the multi-faceted ways that identity can be. The conversation that Jiménez initiates with the viewer is only part of the dialogue that his show provokes.‘The Contest” will have you leaving with questions to explore on a personal level.