The philosophical concept of eternal recurrence alludes directly to time through the events that enunciate it or make it visible as a circular rather than linear fact. It also includes the idea of a mark in history that points to the beginning and the end of something, that signals its repetition in an atavism of sorts, prevents man’s ascending progress and subjects him to repetition, to the “same thing”—not just in terms of conducts, but thoughts, opinions and other beliefs that make men subjects of the world. Many reflections have been made on the philosophical conception of eternal recurrence, from the mythical figuration of Uroborus as an animal that consumes itself as it bites its tail, to the literary works of Friedrich Nietzsche: “Everything becomes and recurs eternally—escape is impossible! […] The law of conservation of energy demands eternal recurrence […] The measure of force (as magnitude) as fixed, but its essence in flux […] The world as circular movement that has already repeated itself infinitely often and plays its game in infinitum…”
All artistic and literary pieces in this work coincide predominantly in the way in which the physical space-time relationship behaves from the moment that human beings appear in the world, never separating from their fleshly condition, and are transformed solely from their wear. Physical and symbolic erosion is represented in Pina Bausch’s choreography Café Müller from 1978 or in Zbigniew Rybczyński’s short film Tango, shot and edited in 1980. In these works, the repetition of characters’ actions—practically reaching a level of automatism—underlines the wearing out of their own life’s circumstances, generating a new sense: the real evidence of the situation as a dramatic, critical and ironic state of human condition. These sorts of language strategies within the poetic construction of art are the types of elements that generate constant interest in the artistic oeuvre of Miguel Monroy (Mexico City, 1975).
Monroy’s work deals with the possibility of fracturing different structures, codes or systems where the Western-utilitarian way of seeing the world lies, creating visible alternatives within the nature of art that in turn construct a broader reflection on the place where we find ourselves.
With the title Canon, Miguel Monroy enunciates the multidisciplinary exercise held in the Daniel Mont Room in Museo Experimental El Eco as part of the 2012 exhibitions program. This exercise consisted of a review of the function of the exhibition space as a locus of actions that continuously alter the site. For this, he centered on the mounting process before each show, resulting in a pattern of constant activities that constitute the exercise of cultural production within the museum as an institution.
Canon is also the term with which Monroy broadens his work system, incorporating within his project several artists to make a video. There, the exhibition space is shown as the motor for generating situations that allude to the museum’s utilitarian purpose. The space is represented from the repetition and confrontation of common actions carried out by characters, evoking the normal passing through the cultural space as a state of altered repetition, which generates an ironic vision of this places’ work and situates the exercise of the art exhibition in a metaphor of sorts related to the Nietzschean notion of eternal recurrence.