Event Details


For The Zone, artist Raúl Ortega Ayala made multiple visits into the exclusion zone around the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant documenting the repercussions of a failed technological development on a monumental scale. Ortega Ayala’s practice is characterised by lengthy research into a subject often using a variety of anthropological methods - like participant observation, fieldwork or embodiment of knowledge - to absorb himself in his selected topic. Of particular interest to the artist at the moment are the ways in which societies remember, forget or repress their past.

In this conversation with curator Sophie Thorn, Ortega Ayala discusses current research he is conducting around the village of Temacapulín in Mexico. Temacapulín and the adjoining townships of Acasico and Palmarejo are known for setting an international precedent in water conflict resolution in 2021 after winning a sixteen year fight not to be flooded by the proposed El Zapotillo dam, a megadam known as ‘the dam of corruption’. Coincidentally, as Ortega Ayala and Thorn will discuss, the township is also home to historic murals depicting scenes of flooding pre-dating the major infrastructure proposal


  • Free | All Welcome


  • Thu 13 Jun


  • 6:00 pm


  • Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington,
  • Gate 3, Kelburn Parade
  • Pōneke Wellington