“Contemporary Photography in Mexico: Existe lo que tiene nombre” on view starting Aug. 22 at the ASU Art Museum

Pablo López Luz, "Vista aérea de la Ciudad de México, I," 2013. Inkjet on paper, 39.5 x 48.6 in. Image courtesy of the artist.

Photo by Pablo López Luz

The ASU Art Museum is pleased to present "Contemporary Photography in Mexico: Existe lo que tiene nombre," an exhibition comprised of more than 50 photographic and video works produced by 23 different artists, all within the past decade. It will be on view Aug. 22, 2015 through Jan. 9, 2016 in the lower level galleries at the ASU Art Museum’s Mill Avenue & 10th Street location in Tempe. The exhibition is the U.S. debut for many of the exhibiting photographers.

"Contemporary Photography in Mexico: Existe lo que tiene nombre" was curated and first presented in April 2015 at San Francisco Camerawork and Galeria de la Raza by Sergio De La Torre (San Francisco) and Javier Ramírez Limón (Tijuana). The ASU Art Museum presentation of the exhibition is managed by Julio Cesar Morales and is supported by the Helme Prinzen Endowment.

The title of the exhibition, "Existe lo que tiene nombre," which translates to “that which has a name exists,” comes from a conversation with the artist Jazzibe Santos, whose photographic project documents her grandmother's household of labeled objects. Santos’ project is included in the exhibition alongside the work of Adela Goldbard, Aglea Cortés, Alejandra Laviada, Alejandro Cartagena, Alfredo Káram, Bruno Ruiz, Carlos Iván Hernández, Colectivo Estética Unisex, Daniela Edburg, David Vera, Fernando Brito, Iván Manríquez, Jimena Camou, Juan Carlos Coppel, Livia Corona, Mariela Sancari, Mauricio Alejo, Melba Arellano, Oswaldo Ruiz, Pablo López Luz, Roberto Molina Tondopó, and Yvonne Venegas.

“Since the late 1800s to the documentation of the Mexican Revolution, photography in Mexico has played an important role in capturing and developing the identity of ‘Mexicaness,’ or the state of being Mexican,” says Morales. “Contemporary artists have always helped create a national visual language for Mexico that historically has been fluid and transformative in nature. 'Existe lo que tiene nombre' is a rare and powerful look into the contemporary practices of Mexican artists working within a photographic influence.”

The exhibition attempts to expand the traditional terrain and focus of photography by looking at how contemporary artists are placing the photographic image at the center in their practice and how artists are using discretionary ways of working with the medium itself, explains Morales. “The artworks in 'Existe lo que tiene nombre' concentrate on the dissolution of historic borders in photography between notions of the ‘documentary,’ ‘experimental’ and ‘conceptual.’”

"Existe lo que tiene nombre" is part of the Contact Zones series of exhibitions at the ASU Art Museum which focuses on contemporary migration and its intricate uncertainties within border culture, destiny and contested histories. The series includes new commission-based video installations, public engaged programs, guest-curated exhibitions and artist initiated projects.


On Friday, Aug. 21, 2015, from noon – 1 p.m., the ASU Art Museum will host a public preview of the exhibition and a brown bag lunch conversation with Julio Cesar Morales and Sergio De La Torre. Morales will also lead a tour of the exhibition as part of the museum’s #ThirdWednesday series on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015 at 1:30 p.m.

An opening reception for the exhibition will be held Friday, September 11, from 6:30–8:30 p.m. (with a members, alumni and press preview from 5:30–6:30 p.m.).

All ASU Art Museum events are free and open to the public.


A 180-page catalogue with 56 color plates will accompany the exhibition. The publication includes essays by Mexican art critic Irving Dominguez and curators Sergio De La Torre and Javier Ramirez Limon.


This exhibition is curated by Sergio De La Torre (San Francisco) and Javier Ramírez Limón (Tijuana) and is supported by the University of San Francisco, The San Francisco Arts Commission, and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. The ASU Art Museum presentation is supported by the Helme Prinzen Endowment. Following the ASU Art Museum’s presentation of the exhibition, it will travel to Centro de las Artes Universidad de Sonora, and El Centro Cultural Tijuana.


The ASU Art Museum, named “the single most impressive venue for contemporary art in Arizona” by Art in America magazine, is part of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University.

To learn more about the museum, call 480.965.2787, or visit asuartmuseum.asu.edu.

Location/Parking: The museum has three locations across the metro Phoenix area: the ASU Art Museum at 10th Street and Mill Avenue, on ASU’s Tempe campus; the ASU Art Museum Brickyard at 7th Street and Mill Avenue, in downtown Tempe; and the ASU Art Museum International Artist Residency Program Project Space at Combine Studios, in downtown Phoenix. Designated parking is available at all three locations.

Admission: Free at all three locations.

Hours: The ASU Art Museum and ASU Art Museum Brickyard are open 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The museum is closed on Sundays and Mondays. The ASU Art Museum International Artist Residency Program Project Space in downtown Phoenix at Combine Studios has variable public hours depending on exhibition schedules and is open by appointment. 

Public Contact: 
Juno Schaser
PR Specialist