Continue playing

(Time remaining: )

Play from beginning

Play from beginning

Continue playing "{{ controller.videos[controller.getVideo(controller.currentVideo)].segmentParentTitle}}"

{{controller.videos[controller.getVideo(controller.currentVideo)].title}} has ended.

{{ currentTime | date:'HH:mm:ss':'+0000' }} / {{ totalTime | date:'HH:mm:ss':'+0000' }} {{ currentTime | date:'mm:ss':'+0000' }} / {{ totalTime | date:'mm:ss':'+0000' }} {{cue.title}}
Add to WatchlistRemove from Watchlist
Add to watchlist
Remove from watchlist

Video unavailable

Damián Ortega in "Mexico City"

Damián Ortega uses objects from his everyday life—Volkswagen Beetle cars, Day of the Dead posters, locally sourced corn tortillas—to make spectacular sculptures, which suggest stories of both mythic import and cosmological scale.

More information and credits


Executive Producer: Eve Moros Ortega. Host: Claire Danes. Director: Deborah Dickson. Producer: Ian Forster. Editor: Kate Taverna. Art21 Executive Director: Tina Kukielski. Curator: Wesley Miller. Director of Production: Nick Ravich. Structure Consultant: Véronique Bernard. Director of Photography: Pedro Gomez Millan & Hatuey Viveros. Additional Photography: Ulli Bonnekamp, Robert Humphreys, Masami Fujita, John Marton, Masiar Pasquali, & Pietro de Tilla. Assistant Camera: Paul Lima, Mauricio Rodríguez, & Bernabé Salinas. Sound: Baruch Arias Kexolli, Brian Copenhagen, & Theresa Radka. Production Assistant: René Hope, Antonio Pérez Sánchez, & Guglielmo Trupia. Driver: Ricardo Jacuinde Villeda & José Luis Loyo. Translation: Manuel Alcalá & Paulina Pardo Gaviria.

Title/Motion Design: Afternoon Inc. Composer: Joel Pickard. Online Editor: Don Wyllie. Re-Recording Mix: Tony Pipitone. Sound Edit: Neil Cedar & Jay Fisher. Artwork Animation: Anita H.M. Yu. Assistant Editor: Maria Habib, Leana Siochi, Christina Stiles, & Bahron Thomas.

Host Introduction | Creative Consultant: Tucker Gates. Director of Photography: Pete Konczal. Second Camera: Jon Cooper. Key Grip: Chris Wiesehahn. Gaffer: Jesse Newton. First Assistant Camera: Sara Boardman & Shane Duckworth. Sound: James Tate. Set Dresser: Jess Coles. Hair: Peter Butler. Makeup: Matin. Production Assistant: Agatha Lewandowski & Melanie McLean. Editor: Ilya Chaiken.

Artworks Courtesy of: Natalia Almada; Minerva Cuevas; Damián Ortega; Pedro Reyes; Altamura Films; American Documentary | POV; Colección Jumex; Icarus Films; El Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes y Literatura; kurimanzutto; LABOR; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Presented at Museo Jumex; Women Make Movies; Carlos Aguirre; Kenneth Bostock; Claudia Fernández; Thomas Glassford; Paulina Lasa; Néstor Quiñones; Felice Varini; & Héctor Zamora. Acquired Photography: Animal Político; Hammer Museum; Kadist Art Foundation; Simplemente; Laureana Toledo; & VernissageTV.

Special Thanks: The Art21 Board of Trustees; Michael Aglion; Daniela Alatorre; Adriana Barraza; Betty Briceño; Cactus Films; Pat Casteel; Pamela Echeverría; Christina Faist; Carla Fernández; The Galleries at Moore; Héctor Galván; Alejandro Gonzalez Palafox; Lorenzo Hagerman; Hammer Museum; HangarBicocca; Headlands Center for the Arts; Alejandro de Icaza; Jenette Kahn; José Kuri; Andrea Leal Montemayor; Sheila Lynch; Alejandro Machorro; Gabriela Maldonado Miquelerena; Mónica Manzutto; Tony Moxham; Museo de la Ciudad de México; Proyecto Siqueiros – La Tallera; Mónica Reina; Olga Rodríguez; Carlos Rossini; Diana Salier; Keith Shapiro; Mary Ann Toman; & Steve Wylie.

Additional Art21 Staff: Maggie Albert; Lindsey Davis; Joe Fusaro; Jessica Hamlin; Jonathan Munar; Bruno Nouril; Pauline Noyes; Kerri Schlottman; & Diane Vivona.

Public Relations: Cultural Counsel. Station Relations: De Shields Associates, Inc. Legal Counsel: Albert Gottesman.

Dedicated To: Susan Sollins, Art21 Founder.

Major underwriting for Season 8 of Art in the Twenty-First Century is provided by National Endowment for the Arts, PBS, Lambent Foundation, Agnes Gund, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and The Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation.

Closed captionsAvailable in English, German, Romanian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian

Translate this video

Through the Art21 Translation Project, multilingual audiences from around the globe can contribute translations, making Art21 films more accessible worldwide. Translate this video now.


Interested in showing this film in an exhibition or public screening? To license this video please visit Licensing & Reproduction.

Damián Ortega

Damián Ortega uses objects from his everyday life—Volkswagen Beetle cars, Day of the Dead posters, locally-sourced corn tortillas—to make spectacular sculptures which suggest stories of both mythic import and cosmological scale. In many of the artist’s sculptures, vernacular objects are presented in precise arrangements—often suspended from the ceiling or as part of mechanized systems—that become witty representations of diagrams, solar systems, words, buildings, and faces. These shifts in perception are not just visual but also cultural, as the artist draws out the social history of the objects featured in his sculptures, films, and performances.

“You can find a universe in every single object.”

Damián Ortega