For the last twenty years Pedro Lasch has been staging experiments in everyday life with a set of mirror masks that are used in specific situations (Naturalizations series, 2002-present). At the core of this simultaneously intimate and massive process lies the question of the political and aesthetic potential of defacement: what is liberated in our individual and collective bodies when we detach from them that overpowering marker of emotion and identity. After reviewing a selective range of past contexts and their respective implications, Lasch concludes with observations, propositions, and questions that have emerged from this cumulative collective experience.
Pedro Lasch (Mexico/US/Germany) is a visual artist, Duke University professor, and Social Practice Lab director at The Franklin Humanities Institute. He is also director of Duke’s Artistic Research Initiative, with support from the Mellon Foundation (2023-2026). Solo exhibitions and projects include Open Routines (QMA), Black Mirror (Nasher), Abstract Nationalism (Phillips Collection), Art of the MOOC (Creative Time), A Sculptural Proposal for the Zócalo (Casa Wabi) and Politics of Fiction (Espacio México, Montreal); group exhibitions include MoMA PS1, MASS MoCA (USA); RCA, Hayward Gallery, Baltic (UK); Centro Nacional de las Artes, MUAC, National Palace Gallery (Mexico); Prospect 4 Triennial New Orleans (2017), Gwangju Biennial (2006), Havana Biennial (2015), Documenta 13 (ANDANDAND, 2012), Documenta 15 (Atis Rezistans GB, 2022), and 56th Venice Biennale (Creative Time Special Project, 2015). Author of six books, his work has appeared in numerous catalogues, as well as journals like October Magazine, Art Forum, ARTnews, Cultural Studies, and The New York Times. His online pedagogical artwork ART of the MOOC (English/Spanish) has had over 65,000 enrolled participants in 134 countries since it launched in 2015. Lasch’s first international retrospective will open at Museo Laboratorio Arte Alameda in Mexico City in November of 2023, including over a hundred artworks from the last thirty years.