The Walker presents the latest phase and first US exhibition of Baby Marx, an ongoing project by Mexican artist Pedro Reyes that looks at the potential for mass entertainment to operate as a radical educational tool. An architect by training, Reyes works across platforms and disciplines—including design, installation, and video—to explore sites and scenarios of collective interaction. Originally conceived for television, Baby Marx is set in a small town library where a group of precocious children have brought Karl Marx and Adam Smith back to life by zapping their influential books in a glitch-prone “Smart-O-Wave” microwave oven. The founders of communism and the free market confront each other and their legacies, haunted by the twin specters of Joseph Stalin and Bernie Madoff, as well as the latest global economic crisis.
Featuring the intricate set pieces and handmade puppets used for a trailer shot in Japan and a pilot episode filmed in Mexico City, the exhibition is an investigation of the entire Baby Marx project to date. Unlike earlier phases, this version uses the tools and procedures of documentary filmmaking to reflect on the question “What is Baby Marx?” More specifically, what does this work have to say about the contemporary moment and our complicated relationships with philosophies filtered through years of contradictory interpretations? The exhibition includes an in-gallery production studio and a series of public events offering a lively meditation on the intersections of entertainment, ideology, and contemporary art.
Organized by the Walker Art Center.
Curators: Bartholomew Ryan and Camille Washington