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Héctor Zamora Ordre et Progrès

From the 4th to the 14th of May, 12pm – 00am

"Boats symbolise adventure and discovery, but they also embody the hope of a safe haven or the ability to survive in a hostile environment. While conveying images borned from great mythological epics, nowadays, they are also symbolically linked to the migration crisis."(1)

Invited to exhibit at Palais de Tokyo, the Mexican artist Héctor Zamora (born in 1974, lives in Brazil) has designed a performance-based installation, which powerfully evokes the deconstruction of the symbolic realm and the hope that navigation represents.

Assembled in the sculptural space of Palais de Tokyo’s Orbe New York, whose large bay windows overlook the Seine, several wooden fishing boats have been dismantled, piece by piece. The structure which emerges is underpinned by a fundamental question: can progress be born from order?

Avec Ordre et Progrès, Héctor Zamora poursuit sa réflexion sur les modèles socio-économiques et sur les « épaves » de l’histoire de l’industrialisation, s’inscrivant dans la continuité de précédents projets, tels que Atopic Delirium (2009) ou Every Belgian is born with a brick in the stomach (2008). With Order and Progress, Héctor Zamora continues his exploration of socio-economic models and the «wreckage» of the history of industrialisation, in keeping with his previous projects, such as Atopic Delirium (2009) or Every Belgian is born with a brick in the stomach (2008).

"The title of this work, Order and Progress, comes from the motto that adorns the celestial sphere of the Brazilian flag, this itself being a more concise version of the expression used by the philosopher Auguste Comte in his Course in Positive Philosophy (1830), ‘Love as a principle and order as the basis; progress as the goal’. This title establishes a contrast between the action which unfolds throughout the duration of the exhibition - the structured and organised process of dismantling several boats - and the central idea of positivist thought.
Here, the purpose of dismantling boats is not for the construction or development of new political, economic or social scenarios. Instead, it serves to dispel the promises borne from the fantasies they convey, whether it be within the specific context of France, of Europe, or within a wider cultural sphere." (2)

"The socio-political dimension, an essential aspect of Héctor Zamora’s method, is here combined with a strong graphic and architectural dimension: as soon as the boats are installed, the artist is somehow confronted with a loss of control. The systematic dismantling of these vessels does not enable him to predict how the space will be altered, how it will be perceived or used."» (3)

(1 & 2) Quote from Hector Zamora

(3) Quote from Vittoria Matterese

Curator : Vittoria Matarrese



Born in Mexico in 1974, Zamora has worked in São Paulo, Brazil, during the last 10 years and has just moved to Lisbon, Portugal. Some of his major projects have been presented in public spaces, including An Essay on Flow as part of 12th Havana Biennale, Cuba (2015); REviraVOLTA in Brasilia, Brazil (2015); O Abuso da História (2014) and Errant (2010) in São Paolo; Atopic Delirium, in Bogota, Colombia (2009). He was one of the Lab team members at the BMW Guggenheim Lab Mumbai, India (2012-13).

Some of his outstanding solo shows are La réalité et autres tromperies, Frac des Pays de la Loire, Carquefou, France (2015); Protogeometries, Essay on the Anexact, Labor gallery, Mexico City, Mexico (2013); Panglossian Paradigm, Redcat, Los Angeles, CA, US, (2012); Reductio Ad Absurdum, Architecture + Art, SMoCA, Scottsdale, Arizona, US, (2012); Inconstância Material, Luciana Brito gallery, São Paolo (2012). He has also been involved with projects for several biennials, including: The 8TH Shenzhen Sculpture Biennale, Shenzhen, China (2014); 13th Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul, Turkey (2013); 53rd International Exhibition Biennale di Venezia, Italy. His projects have been included in group exhibitions such as Buildering: Misbehaving the City, Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary, Cincinnati, OH, US; PER/FORM, CA2M Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, Madrid, Spain (2014); Blind Field, Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois, Champaign, IL, US (2013); Resisting the Present, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris/ARC, France (2012) and Disponible, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA, US (2010) among others.


ORDRE ET PROGRÈS from Hector Zamora on Vimeo.

The exhibition is produced by SAM Art Projects and benefits from the support of


From 04/05/2016 to 14/05/2016