locations: tijuana, tecate, mexico city & la
The Pastor Projects Advisory Board
Ben has that rare combination of extensive experience as a performance artist, managing an independent artists’ space while having clocked up at least as many years working as a Director for a blue-chip gallery, the storied Robilant+Voena in Dover Street before going “solo” with the art consultancy, Higgins Tomlinson Fine Art, with his wife Amelia Higgins in 2022.
Ben and the passionate co-directors of Alma Enterprises learnt the hard way about the fragility of artist-run spaces as they fought landlords, gentrification, rent-hikes and saw applications for Frieze Fringe turned down year after year. Ben, Sara, Siobhan and Charlie gave Thomas Vann Altheimer his first shows as an emerging artist in the noughts in East London’s Vyner Street. We are certain that without this support there would not have been a Pastor Projects in Mexico today.
It is hard to believe, but in the early noughts, Alma Enterprises occupied 1 Vyner Street and was the only gallery in the street. Fast forward some 5 years and the space had been taken over by a gourmet restaurant and Vyner Street had filled up with reputable galleries like Vilma Gold and Stuart Shave’s Modern Art. Ben hopes to see Pastor Projects turn the liminality of both location and means into its forte, as presently the contemporary artworld is clamouring for new, “decentralised’ perspectives.
Francesco Siquieros’s El Nopal Press has been an unrivalled fixture on the LA Fine Art print scene for nearly 3 decades. From his Downtown shop his idiosyncratic, remarkable sensitivity, eye for the printed line and skill in making the machine do from start to finish exactly what he envisioned from the earliest draft. His prolific production has brought us incomparable print works more than 35 of which can be found in The Hammer Museum’s collection. His interest and collaboration with Pastor Projects are invariably linked to a childhood spent in the bordertown of Mexicali and a sense that he still has unfinished business in Mexico, which Pastor Projects might just be the right vehicle and context for him to manifest delicate work that invariably crosses borders, time, languages, identities and the pull of contradictory memories.
David is an artist and Professor of Fine Art at Sheffield Hallam University. His considerable work in the USA, particularly in the borderlands of Texas, brought his trajectory to cross that of Pastor Projects in an organic manner. He has collaborated with Thomas Vann Altheimer both artistically and academically. We have also had the pleasure of selecting and curating some of David’s work for our much celebrated 2021 show in Tecate’s Galeria de la Ciudad, Dear Aliens. We are ready.
David works across media and technologies to explore the social and political tendencies of a world at once shared and divided. Encapsulating the roles of programmer, producer and director, Cotterrell works to develop projects that reveal complexity, challenge linear narratives and embrace the quiet spaces that are overlooked as the sites for action. In 2016 he was the recipient of the highly prestigious Philip Leverhulme Prize.
David has a specific vision for Pastor Projects as a flexible and nimble model for bringing together disparate histories, traditions and people in the context of a continued exploration of the concept of conceptual art that is inclusive and cosmopolitan. He sees the independent, artist-run space as a the key building block for the future post-crisis, ethically committed artworld.