Online Conversations: Virtual Artist Talk & Exhibition Walkthrough with Rodrigo Valenzuela • 4 February 2022
A virtual artist talk and walkthrough with Rodrigo Valenzuela on the occasion of Valenzuela's newly opened solo exhibition New Works for a Post-Worker's World at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles. Followed by a conversation and open Q&A.
Exhibition Press Release Excerpt:
These images suggest the roaring steel mills of the past, quickly abandoned once outdated, while also offering a retro futuristic vision in which workers and machines devised a better plan than their mutually assured futility. As stand-ins for the growing numbers of workers dispossessed due to automation, the pictures—in their invocation of histories of labor, and of industries created by humans to displace themselves in the service of capital—intersect with the struggles for unionization, a longtime interest for Valenzuela. They stress the body’s worth—both single and collective—as well as that of rest and pleasure.
Often using landscapes and tableaus with day laborers or the artist himself, Valenzuela explores the way an image is inhabited, and the way that spaces, objects and people are translated into images. His work serves as an expressive and intimate point of contact between the broader realms of subjectivity and political contingency. Through his videos and photographs, Valenzuela makes images that feel simultaneously familiar yet distant. He engages the viewer in questions concerning the ways in which the formation and experience of each work is situated—how they exist in and out of place.