La Loteria Art Exhibit

BROOKLYN, NY | Observatory Room| Sponsored by the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York & Mano a Mano Mexican Culture Without Borders | September, 2011.

La Loteria is a game similar to Bingo. Instead of numbers, it uses a deck of cards illustrated with figures that represent everyday objects, plants, animals, mythical creatures and other characters. The origins of this game go back to 16thcentury Italy, where most of the lottery games (such as Bingo, the Lotto, etc.) were born, and where the first decks of playing card, including the Tarot, were introduced into Europe. 

The specific origins of the Loteria Mexicana deck of cards are uncertain. The deck most commonly used today dates back to the 19thcentury, and was made popular by the French entrepreneur Clemente Jacques. Its images are part of the collective imaginary of Mexican communities in Mexico and abroad. 

The potential of games of chance to produce an interpretative or symbolic relationship with reality has been discussed by many authors, such as Italo Calvino, who used the Tarot as an interpretative matrix in order to generate a series of intertwined stories in his book The Castle of Crossed Destinies. The Tarot, once a simple deck of playing cards, is now associated with magic and divination. On the other hand, Carl C. Jung explored the potential that the I Ching has to help establish contact with the most profound layers of the unconscious mind. 

The idea behind this exhibition is to use the images of La Loteria as a matrix that helps us generate dialogues, intersections, and points of encounter. We want to invite artists from all origins and disciplines to be inspired by the symbolism, style, characters, themes or any other aspect of La Loteria that they find suggestive. We invite you to adapt, play homage, adopt or desecrate La Loteria. This exhibition seeks to open a liminal space around these cards, a border-zone where it’s possible to explore our differences together. 

call for submissions | selected artwork | convocatoria| comunicado de prensa


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