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Time Exchange
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2010
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Time Exchange, the demanding project by Mexican artist José Antonio Vega Macotela highlights the flexible, subjective, and untamed nature of time. In the course of four years the artist went once a week to one of the most dangerous jails in Mexico City, made friends with long-term inmates, and offered them a trade: they could ask him to perform tasks for them outside the jail, and in exchange he asked them to perform creative tasks within its walls. The only condition attached to the deal was that the two actions be performed at the same time, within a joint time framework. The mutual exchange of time quickly became an intimate and binding act. For example, in one of the time exchanges presented in the exhibition, an inmate named Fernando asked the artist to celebrate his mother’s birthday with her. In exchange, the artist asked Fernando to mark every scar on his body and write down next to each one a brief explanation of the circumstances that led to it. Time Exchange circumvents the fences of the jail, which symbolizes the regulation of space more than anything else, by creating an alternative economy of time. This economy, which is not subordinated to walls, fences, and bars, enables an action that is simultaneously political and intimate.

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 The CDA's archives are operating with the support of the Ostrovsky Family Fund and Artis
 

Time Exchange

Time Exchange, the demanding project by Mexican artist José Antonio Vega Macotela highlights the flexible, subjective, and untamed nature of time. In the course of four years the artist went once a week to one of the most dangerous jails in Mexico City, made friends with long-term inmates, and offered them a trade: they could ask him to perform tasks for them outside the jail, and in exchange he asked them to perform creative tasks within its walls. The only condition attached to the deal was that the two actions be performed at the same time, within a joint time framework. The mutual exchange of time quickly became an intimate and binding act. For example, in one of the time exchanges presented in the exhibition, an inmate named Fernando asked the artist to celebrate his mother’s birthday with her. In exchange, the artist asked Fernando to mark every scar on his body and write down next to each one a brief explanation of the circumstances that led to it. Time Exchange circumvents the fences of the jail, which symbolizes the regulation of space more than anything else, by creating an alternative economy of time. This economy, which is not subordinated to walls, fences, and bars, enables an action that is simultaneously political and intimate.

 The CDA's archives are operating with the support of the Ostrovsky Family Fund and Artis
 

 The CDA's archives are operating with the support of the Ostrovsky Family Fund and Artis