Center for Art,
Research and Alliances
March 02 – May 12, 2024

Paloma Contreras Lomas and Ines Doujak

Exhibition Cover

CARA’s Spring 2024 exhibition presents work by artists Paloma Contreras Lomas (b. Mexico, 1991) and Ines Doujak (b. Austria, 1959), creating an  intergenerational, feminist dialogue between their practices. In the spirit of do-it-yourself activist movements and political satire, Contreras Lomas and Doujak mobilize grotesque, subculture aesthetics and intimate storytelling to critique patriarchal systems and their intersections with capital. The artists's work upends hierarchies of race, class, and gender and complicates the notion of “woman” as a social category and set of prescribed roles. Contreras Lomas and Doujak mobilize empathy and fiction as vehicles for a deeper understanding of the human experience and activate wit and humor to offer historical insights into the long-standing nature of oppression and the systemic forces that have maintained it. They claim everyone’s right to everything, using horizontality and collaboration as strategies for resistance.

The artists use baroque, eccentric, and seductive imagery, including cartoons, anatomy books, mass media, and haute couture designs, to make play an irresistible part of our political commitments. The exhibition exposes exploitative structures, such as class, gender, and biopolitics, and counters them with cacophony—the layering of voices speaking, singing, and shouting in community. In spite of gendered violence and the failures of an increasingly globalized world, both Contreras Lomas and Doujak continue to locate hope in shared speech. Their work leans into complexity and interconnection, contaminating beauty with a spirit of mischief and joy.

Spanning sculpture, film, and illustration Mexico City-based artist Paloma Contreras Lomas combines colorful aesthetics and fetishized, pop culture representations of Mexico to entice the viewer. But beyond the fuzzy sculptures, smiling cartoon characters, feathers, and sombreros lie the violent realities of border relations, machismo, and ongoing US imperial intervention into Mexican life and politics. In her practice geopolitical histories interweave with film noir fantasies and family narratives, creating speculative spaces where fear and imagination are equally present. Harnessing the child-like affect of simultaneous horror and glee, Contreras Lomas’s work invites ghosts out to play.

Ines Doujak’s irreverent practice, which spans decades of performance, collage, sculpture, and public interventions, interrogates human impact on the land, on ecology, and on microbiology through aesthetic strategies of shock and humor. Like Contreras Lomas, Doujak uses hyperbole as a tool for critique as she considers the violent impacts of global trade, trafficking, and exploitation, and explores possibilities of class rebellion. She thinks about contamination in the broadest sense, addressing everything from pandemics to ongoing environmental crises and the possibilities of letting yourself be exposed to and affected by the lives and stories of others.

The exhibition will culminate on May 4, 2024 with a public parade convened by Ines Doujak and co-presented with the New York City AIDS Memorial. Honoring intergenerational histories of coalition-building and resistance, the parade celebrates the legacies of movement elders whose presence informs the collective, ongoing work toward envisioning and realizing better worlds. Collaborating with artists and health justice organizations to be announced soon, the parade memorializes shared histories of rebellion. It offers space for the coexistence of grief and levity, commemorating the lives lost to AIDS and ongoing struggles for liberation from patriarchal oppression. Weaving together pasts and presents of hope, the parade invites all who choose to join into an ongoing process of remembrance.

Find more information about New York City AIDS Memorial here.

Paloma Contreras Lomas and Ines Doujak is curated by Manuela Moscoso, Executive Director and Chief Curator with support from Rahul Gudipudi Senior Curator; production by Agustin Schang, curatorial assistance by Marian Chudnovsky, and activations supported by Emmy Catedral.

Images by Luis Corzo, courtesy of CARA.

Paloma Contreras Lomas and Ines Doujak

About the Artists

Paloma Contreras Lomas (b. Mexico City, 1991) began her career of Visual Arts at the "National School of Painting, Sculpture and Engraving, La Esmeralda" (2011-2015) shortly after, she joined the multidisciplinary collective Biquini Wax EPS (2016-2022). The work of Contreras Lomas extends to different media such as video, writing, cinema, drawing and performance, as well as collective production parallel to his personal research. Her work explores different vestiges of masculinized Mexican politics, seeking to flee from pamphleteering tactics, using expanded political caricature as a means of production and thought. Her work has been shown at Palais de Tokyo; FRAC Centre Orléans; and Museo Tamayo. She has been a recipient of national scholarships such as the National Fund for Culture and the Arts in the Young Creators (FONCA) and international branches such as the Prince Generation Next Generation Grantee Scholarship and Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (2019-2020). She is represented in Mexico City by PequodCo and by Galeria Agustina Ferreyra abroad. She lives and works in Mexico City.

Ines Doujak lives and works in Vienna, Austria. Doujak’s multidisciplinary practice spans across photography, performance, film and installation. She is working on deconstructing the political implications of sexist and racist stereotypes. Drawing on the tradition of carnival, masquerade and motifs from cultural history, she uncovers exploitative structures and inequalities in society, often in relation to colonial histories. Her research into the textile industry has resulted in numerous works concerning gender, class and cultural conflicts related to the global production, trade and distribution of fashion and textiles. Exhibitions include Kunsthalle, Vienna (2021); Bergen Assembly, Norway (2019); Kochi-Muziris Biennale, India (2018); Dhaka Art Summit, Bangladesh (2018); Para Site, Hong Kong (2018); São Paulo Biennal (2014); documenta 12, Kassel (2007); and Secession, Vienna (2002).