Sur is a contemporary art journal published out of Mexico City twice a year. Both a publication and a series of invitations, Sur is premised on aesthetics of encounter, specifically between the writing, art, and ideas expressed in Latin American culture in relation to discourses, philosophies, and art generated elsewhere. Published in both Spanish and English, Sur creates a new and necessary space for engaging and amplifying such discussions.
Each year Sur is released in two corresponding issues, with one issue dedicated to exposition and experimentation and the other devoted to related dialogues premised on the publication’s editorial mission: to facilitate encounters between the cultural and intellectual life of Latin America and that which lies further afield. Sur is released in spring and fall of each year.
SUR Volume II
With texts by Rodrigo Ortiz Monasterio, Gabriela Jauregui, Mario García Torres, Natalia Valencia, Rometti/Costales, Michael Stevenson, Magali Arriola, Marwa Arsanios and Jesi Khadivi. 116 pages, Spanish and English.
Sur II invites a series of encounters between artists, writers, and curators working in the Middle East and in Mexico to explore the rich, relatively uncharted history linking both places, especially around the notions of utopia and exile. As early as 1519, with Hernán Cortés’ arrival in Mexico, Sephardim (disguised as Conversos, Jews who appeared to have converted to Catholicism) traveled to the Americas in order to flee persecution from the Spanish Inquisition in search of a better life. And, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, there were mass migrations to Mexico from the Levant region by peoples escaping the repressive Ottoman regime. In more recent decades, Mexico became the temporary home of a more illustrious exile—Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran—who escaped the Iranian Revolution in 1979. Movement between Mexico and the Middle East was not of course only one way and in the 1950s, Pépé Abed, a Lebanese Mexican entrepreneur, moved his family from Mexico back to Lebanon to set up the “Acapulco Beach Resort” in Jnah, which he fashioned after its Pacific precedent.
Sur II looks at some of these histories and related imaginaries through varied forms and perspectives, drawing from existing narratives and novel inventions.