This book documents the exhibition Messico famigliare / Domestic Mexico held at the Fondazione Merz in Turin from 19 January to 28 February 2010. The title, Domestic Mexico, is evidently a play on words (in the original Italian Messico/lessico) referring to Natalia Ginzburg’s Domestic Vocabulary, published in 1963 and which centered upon the expressed internal relationships of families. Mocellin and Pellegrini, through their own parenting experience, take a look at the family at the present time and its paradoxes: it is no longer considered to be a closed entity, but it’s difficult to think of it as open; it still functions as a traditional screen in the name of which to remedy conflicts and organize consensus. The artists weave fragments of their family memories together with the experience of being new adoptive parents and the widespread diffidence towards a family that proposes to differ from the scheme of the classic patriarchal model. Joining the personal with the political has raised discussions about the concept of neutrality in the lives of men and women, claiming personal responsibility as one of the factors necessary for renewing social relationships.
Ottonella Mocellin and Nicola Pellegrini were both born in Milan, respectively in 1966 and 1962. They lived in London from 1984 to 1993, where they studied Public Art and Architecture. They spent the year of 2001-02 in New York, as representatives from Italy in the P.S.1 International Studio Program. Their works, including installations, videos, photography and performances, have been exhibited in museums and galleries in Italy and abroad. They are represented currently by the Lia Rumma Gallery, with locations in Milan and Naples.