The work made by visual artist Carlos Amorales (born in Mexico City, 1970) and musician Julian Léde in their project Nuevos Ricos (between 2003 and 2009) was an idealist but ironic attempt to generate a youth subculture. Nuevos Ricos based its actions on a critical and underground attitude for inserting dysfunctional and atypical ideas into the show-business mainstream. The music, the art, the graphic design and the label itself were used as means to ‘institutionalise’ radicality by ironically mixing the antagonistic languages of Pop and Alternative to fill the cultural vacuum created by the neoliberal ideology that has been prominent in the current decade. Nuevos Ricos, as a cultural movement, desired the destabilisation of the social establishment.

Following an initial manifesto, Nuevos Ricos established a working model running contrary to the traditional rules of the music business. The manifest was based on the idea of distributing music freely as a personal gift (physically or on the Internet) and additionally blocked the normal option of working with sponsorship by brands so as to avoid becoming a subliminal medium for advertising. To survive, Nuevos Ricos firstly used the art world's financial system for producing their merchandise to sell at concerts, and secondly took advantage of the unauthorised copies made by the informal market and reappropriated the stolen and altered images found in the streets to release copies distributed and sold by EMI Music at stores.

The exhibition in Kassel marks the end of the project by presenting an overview of its historical documentation together with a comparison between the official ‘Nuevos Ricos Franchise’ and its pirate replica made by Victor Albarracín and Lorena Espitia at El Bodegón, Bogotá, in 2006. In addition, three new works are being presented as a reflection on the project: a graphic mural work, a floor painting that represents a conceptual scheme for making a rock concert on a 1:1 scale and a printed replica of the installation ‘Germania’ done by Hans Haacke for the German Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 1993.


Carlos Amorales

Carlos Amorales was born in 1970 in Mexico City, where he lives and works today. From 1992 to 1996, he studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Akademie and the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam.

He has had numerous solo exhibitions, including Discarded Spider Webs at the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, Dark Mirror at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (both in 2008), Spider Galaxy at the Museo Tamayo in Mexico City (2007), and Why Fear The Future? at the Museo Universitario de Ciencias y Arte in Mexico City, the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (2006) and the Casa de América in Madrid (2005). In addition, Amorales is known for his many performances, particularly Amorales vs. Amorales in the late nineties, and for his music project and record label Nuevos Ricos, which he founded together with Julian Léde in 2003.

He has taken part in many renowned group exhibitions. Among them are the 5th International Media Art Biennale in Seoul (2008), New Perspectives in Latin American Art. 1930-2006: Selections from a Decade of Acquisitions at the MoMA, New York (2007), In The Air: Projections of Mexico at the Guggenheim in New York (2005), We Are the World 2003, in the Dutch Pavilion curated by Rein Wolfs at the 50th Venice Biennale, the 2nd Berlin Biennial in 2001, the 1st Tirana Biennale in 2001 and the exhibition Peace at the Migros Museum in Zurich in 1999.

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