Lourdes Grobet: Beyond the Ring – An Exploration of ‘Create without Fear’ at Casa del Lago

The exhibition “Create without Fear” at Casa del Lago Juan José Arreola is shedding light on the multifaceted work of photographer Lourdes Grobet (1940-2022). While Grobet is often remembered for her wrestling portraits, the exhibition aims to present a more comprehensive view of her as an artist who employed photography as one of her creative tools.

Curated by Víctor Muñoz and Beruz Herrero, the exhibition features over a hundred pieces, including photographs, videos, documents, personal objects, and an installation. These items are drawn from Grobet’s personal archive, providing insights into her career that spanned five decades. The thematic axes explored in “Create without Fear” encompass her archive, visual experimentation, and family narratives.

Grobet’s artistic journey began with fine arts studies at the Universidad Iberoamericana, where she discovered her creativity alongside Mathias Goertiz. Influenced by mentors like Goeritz and Gilberto Aceves Navarro, Grobet decided to delve into photography in the 1970s, traveling to England for further studies due to the absence of photo schools in Mexico at the time.

Despite facing initial rejection for her unconventional painted landscapes project, Grobet persisted in her experimentation upon returning to Mexico. She explored innovative techniques, such as leaving the camera shutter open at night and using translucent colored sheets to illuminate her subjects.

One of Grobet’s notable series, “Cubans outside Cuba,” emerged from an invitation to the Havana Art Biennial. This provocative project involved interviewing and photographing Cuban immigrants in Mexico and Miami, showcasing anonymous photos accompanied by written testimonies.

Grobet’s avant-garde spirit was evident in her collaboration with Marcos Kurtycz in the action “Hour and a half in Casa del Lago” (1975), challenging the conservative norms prevalent in the Mexican photographic environment. The exhibition also highlights her participation in the collective creation “From Mooing to Woman: Imaginaries of Seven,” where Grobet engaged in a striptease captured by Manuel Zavala.

The installation “Bering,” inspired by Grobet’s journeys to the strait between Siberia and Alaska, is a significant part of the exhibition. Comprising videos and a digital game, “Bering” adds depth to Grobet’s diverse body of work.

The exhibition “Lourdes Grobet: Create without Fear” at Casa del Lago, Bosque de Chapultepec, first section, serves as a tribute to this influential artist and will remain open until March 10, 2024.

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