Miguel Monroy

On May 26th I bought $100 US dollars on the black market on Benito Juarez Street in Culiacan, Sinaloa. These dollars allegedly came from drug sales in the USA.

On these dollars I stamped different phrases taken from people’s political messages at demonstrations against violence in Mexico.

With $100 stamped dollars I purchased one dose of cocaine in the USA and returned this money back into the same system.

Insertions into economical circuits

Inspired by Cildo Meireles Inserções em circuitos ideológicos 2. Projeto Cédula, Monroy inserted messages taken from demonstrations against violence from drug cartels in Mexico into the same flow of this drug’s economic system. Monroy did this by stamping bank notes with these messages. Those bills were obtained at the Benito Juarez Street black market in Culiacan, Sinaloa. These bank notes allegedly came from money laundered in that city. Monroy uses those stamped bills to buy a dose of cocaine in the USA. He reverted the money flow to insert these political messages back into this black-market system.

Artist Statement

Institutional conventions of modern life that interest me derive from daily social interactions. They emerge to satisfy specific needs: --the circulation of money, surveillance of spaces, behavioral modification through signage-- My interest is to set them free from their designated function. In a world where everything has a purpose, the impossibility of the original role of an object questions its presence and provokes its liberation. I am interested in showing that the form and the function of these systems are not the original principles that provide them with a meaning; instead it is a renewed social effort to avoid the total irruption of contingency. As I am counteracting these dynamics I realize that I am dealing with political concerns that indicate the ideology within our own daily circumstance. The goal in my work is to show the presence of the constant machinery that produces the ideology that surrounds us.


Miguel Monroy’s (b. Mexico City) earned his MFA in Art Practice from Stanford University in 2020. His work has been shown in galleries and cultural spaces in Switzerland, Brazil, Spain, United States, and Belgium among others. In 2018, he received the Edwin Anthony and Adalaine Boudreaux Cadogan Scholarship from The San Francisco Foundation. In 2016, he presented Robbery to an art fair in ZonaMACO Sur. In 2012, he published the book Transporte transportado with the support of Fundación/Colección Jumex. Monroy has participated in artistic residencies in Switzerland (2006), Quebec (2012) and Mexico (2012 and 2015). Monroy has been teaching workshops and graduate courses of contemporary art at institutions in Merida, Puebla, and Mexico City, as well as in California, USA. He has taught installation art at UNARTE, Puebla. Since 2015 he has been a member of the FONCA´s Sistema Nacional de Creadores.

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