LA><ART IS PLEASED TO PRESENT A NEWLY COMMISSIONED BODY OF WORK AND PUBLIC BILLBOARD BY TIJUANA-BASED ARTIST MARCOS RAMIREZ ERRE AND A NEW FILM BY LOS ANGELES-BASED ARTIST MARCO RIOS
Marcos Ramirez ERRE: How Many Revolutions?
LA><ART Gallery One and LA><ART Billboard
Curated by Cesar Garcia
May 21-July 2, 2011
Opening Reception: May 21, 2011 7-9pm
Artist-Curator Walkthrough: May 21, 2011 6pm
LA><ART is pleased to present a newly commissioned body of work and a public billboard by Tijuana-based artist Marcos Ramirez ERRE. For over two decades, ERRE has examined ideas of crossing political, social, economic, cultural, and aesthetic borders. A skilled carpenter, formally-trained attorney, and self-taught artist, ERRE translates intricately related sociopolitical complexities into tangible objects that operate as ‘material moments’—constructed situations that confront viewers with the problems of global politics articulated in the space of the everyday. Invested in an ongoing interrogation of language and the consequences of its translation—across terrains and cultures, ERRE’s works intimately negotiate the subject and the object, history and memory, aesthetics and politics, the local and the global, and the personal and the collective. Posing questions about the relationship between art and audience, ERRE’s works transform spectators into implicated subjects charged with the responsibility to consider their own active participation.
For How Many Revolutions? at LA><ART, ERRE creates a new series of sculptural works that reflect on the cultural politics of the Mexican state, specifically the recently launched campaign to celebrate Mexico’s Bicentennial and the Centennial of the Mexican Revolution. Anchoring the gallery space, How Many Revolutions? manifests as a site-specific large-scale kinetic sculpture that takes the form of a playground carousel. The base, made of scrap wood, found materials, and stainless steel, when viewed from an aerial perspective, reveals a pie-chart representing the current distribution of wealth in Mexico; speaking to the socioeconomic inequalities still reverberating since the Revolution. Equipped with a custom-made motor, the sculpture slowly turns as a digital counter on the gallery wall tracks the number of rotations throughout the duration of the exhibition. ERRE’s provocation, acutely critical of the Mexican government’s exploitation of cultural campaigns to conceal ongoing political and social instabilities, asks viewers to reconsider how much has truly changed since the Revolution that the Mexican government now celebrates. As ERRE’s sculpture slowly turns, no resolve is reached, speaking to a prolonged unfulfilled period of waiting for change.
Accompanying this central sculpture, ERRE also has created a series of small works and a public billboard that mobilize nationalistic tropes in order to juxtapose the Mexican government’s cultural strategies with the real conditions experienced in Mexico today. A Mexican flag stripped of the national crest, a commemorative plaque with a charged message about real impact of the Revolution, a floor drain sculpture embedded with the phrase “Bread and Circus,” and a billboard with a manipulated version of the logo for Mexico's 1968 Olympic games, all come together to question the validity of Mexico’s celebratory tone in a time of increased corruption, cartel wars, troubling economic inequalities, and political preparations for an upcoming national election.
This exhibition marks Marcos Ramirez ERRE’s first institutional solo show in Los Angeles and is presented in conversation with Marcos Ramirez ERRE’s first major museum retrospective that will open at the Museo de Arte Carillo Gil in Mexico City on June 11th, 2011. The retrospective is co-curated by LA><ART’s Assistant Director/Curator of Public Art and Programs Cesar Garcia and will be accompanied by a major publication slated for September 2011.
Marcos Ramirez ERRE was born in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico in 1961. He received his law degree from the Universidad Autonoma de Baja California. His work has been exhibited widely in many institutions around the world. His solo shows have included The Body of Crime, Artpace, San Antonio, TX; The Four Pilots of the Apocalypse, The Suburban, Chicago, IL; and Postcards from the Edge, EDS Galeria, Mexico City amongst others. Group shows have included Human/Nature, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, San Diego, CA; Proyecto Civico, EL CUBO, Centro Cultural de Tijuana, Tijuana, Mexico; Strange New World, Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, San Diego, CA, and Baja to Vancouver: West Coast Contemporary Art, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA amongst others. ERRE was included in the 2008 California Biennial, the 2007 Moscow Biennial, the 2000 Havana Biennial, and the 2000 Whitney Biennial. In 2011, the Museo Carrillo Gil in Mexico City will organize ERRE’s first museum retrospective.
Marco Rios: Despair Beyond Despair
LA><ART Gallery Two
May 21-July 2, 2011
Opening Reception: May 21, 2011 7-9pm
LA><ART is pleased to present a new project by Los Angeles-based artist Marco Rios. Rios produces theatrical installations and humorous performances that expose a preoccupation with kitsch, paranoia, death, delirium, mania, mystery and the unconscious. Expanding from his ongoing investigation of flesh, gore, and his own body, Rios presents a new film that explores corporality and death, while also inquiring into the representation of artists and art in popular culture. Using Dario Argento’s 1970 film The Bird With The Crystal Plumage as a point of departure, Rios responds to the metaphorical and literal notions of dying inside the gallery space. In this film, Rios recreates a scene from Argento’s film where an American writer witnesses a murder inside a gallery space and while attempting to assist the suffering victim, is trapped in the gallery’s foyer only to watch the victim bleed to death while he waits for the police. Operating as a self-portrait, Rios plays various roles in this film that depicts a murder that takes place within the confines of the gallery where the film itself will be shown. Through this gesture, Rios aims to embody multiple positions in order to deconstruct the literal and metaphorical layers of this gruesome event.
Marco Rios received his MFA from the University of California, Irvine in 2006 and his BFA from Otis College or Art and Design in Los Angeles in 1997. Recent exhibitions include This is Killing Me, MASS MoCA; Mixed Signals, traveling show organized by ICI; Phantom Sightings, LACMA, Los Angeles, CA; and Death’s Boutique, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA, amongst others. In 2007 Rios was a recipient of the California Community Foundation Fellowship. In 2008, he was selected as one of the James Irvine Foundation Visions from the New California awardees and in 2009 he received an ARC Grant from the Durfee Foundation. Marco Rios currently lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.
Celebrating its 5th Anniversary in 2010, LA><ART is the leading independent nonprofit contemporary art space in Los Angeles, committed to the production of experimental exhibitions and public art initiatives. Responding to Los Angeles' cultural climate, LA><ART produces and presents new work for all audiences and offers the public access to the next generation of artists and curators. LA><ART supports challenging work, reflecting the diversity of the city and stimulates conversations on contemporary art in Los Angeles, fostering dynamic relationships between art, artists and their audiences. LA><ART has produced and commissioned over 100 projects in five years.
LA><ARTʼs programs are made possible with the generous support of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Danielson Foundation, the G.L. Waldorf Family Fund, The Los Angeles County Arts Commission, The City of Los Angeles’ Department of Cultural Affairs, DEPART Foundation, and Eve Steele and Peter Gelles.
Marcos Ramirez ERRE’s exhibition is made possible with the generous support of Eloisa Haudenschild, Michael Krichman and Carmen Cuenca.
Marco Rios’ exhibition is made possible with the generous support of the James Irvine Foundation, the Pasadena Art Alliance, Christopher Yin and John Yoon.