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Melanie Smith



Without Restraint presents together for the first time contemporary Mexican art by women from the Daros Latinamerica Collection (Zurich), Europe’s largest and most important collection of its kind. More than 30 works, including photographs, videos, objects, and installations by the following internationally acclaimed women artists are exhibited: Teresa Serrano (*1936), Ximena Cuevas (*1963), Betsabeé Romero (*1963), Teresa Margolles (*1963), Claudia Fernández (*1965), Melanie Smith (*1965), and Maruch Sántiz Gómez (*1975).


These multifaceted and thought-provoking works provide an overview of the most characteristic features of the Mexican contemporary art scene and of its development in recent decades. At the same time, the exhibition offers the opportunity to critically reflect upon and contextualize women artists’ production in contemporary Mexico. The works of these seven artists engage with the concept of mexicanidad—of national identity—and challenge the traditional roles and social spaces assigned to women and to minorities by the dominant hierarchies of power. By using different medias, these artists overthrow the existing order of everyday life and routine which traps women in a labyrinth of traditional archetypes. Topics such as life and death, the violated body, identity and migration, nature and the metropolis are critically examined and discussed in their works.


This exhibition is under the patronage of Claudia Ruíz Massieu Salinas, the Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs, and Swiss Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter, Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA). It coincides with celebrations to mark the seventieth anniversary of diplomatic relations between Switzerland and Mexico and has been realized in close cooperation with the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and the Embassy of Mexico in Switzerland.


Without Restraint is made possible in part by the artEdu Foundation, the Prof. Otto Beisheim-Stiftung, and by private and anonymous donors. The Zurich Insurance Company Ltd. is generously supporting this exhibition.