Artist: Mark A. Rodriguez
Venue: Park View, Los Angeles
Exhibition Title: Earth Day af
Date: July 23 – September 17, 2016
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Park View, Los Angeles
Park View is pleased to announce Earth Day af, a solo exhibition with Mark A. Rodriguez. This is the artist’s second exhibition with the gallery. Ranging from sidewalk advertising to underground music fan practices, Rodriguez’s sculptures and installations comedically address our relationships to style and ownership through a constellation of references to pop cultural images and artifacts.
Modern home furnishings inspired his most recent series of works. Tables and lamps produced by Rodriguez contain uncanny elements of tasteful design that were desirable at a recent moment but have since been absorbed into mass manufacture. Awkward in execution and appearance, these objects enact a socioeconomic tension arising from personal identification and simultaneous repulsion. The ubiquity of sentimental memorabilia within the home, illustrated with life insurance puzzles framed in a dated format, issues within the same space as an overwhelming depiction of abstract finance, represented by clichéd skyscraper photography printed on vinyl banners.
Reflecting an existential drama situated between death and money, all of these elements are reintroduced within the space of the exhibition, imagined as a warehouse or storage facility housing Rodriguez’s surplus inventory of artworks. This is partly true, as the works shown here have gone unsold, and also a fiction, as the artist, by showcasing remnants of the studio, likens himself to a middle-class business owner and general service producer. Within that narrative, Rodriguez maneuvers and acts against his best interests as an artist, operating with utter transparency by exhibiting every single recent work that is available.
The newest addition to his repertoire, 1st Gen, is a four part, wall-mounted shelving unit in mahogany housing thousands of Grateful Dead live recordings of varying sound qualities from 1965 to 1995, the year of front-man Jerry Garcia’s death. Related to Rodriguez’s exacting treatment of cultural material embedded within his objects, the sculpture contains not only recordings of the band, known and followed religiously for its live performances – which were then re dubbed and traded by fans – but also information within each audiocassette’s sleeves related to location, set lists, authors, and recording devices. Similar to his serial treatment of sculptural “lines” of production, Rodriguez imagines the tape rack as one unique work that may then be repeated ad infinitum. 2nd generation tapes copied from the original set and housed in Fiji bottle cardboard boxes located in the gallery make up the beginnings of the next iteration.
By repeating himself and highlighting differences across each type of work, Rodriguez produces a meta-narrative through his nascent exhibition history that catalogs his artwork’s ebbs and flows. This way of working could also be seen as an elaborate activity mimicking the structure of a run-on joke. Also included in the show are the remainder of a series of paintings of flowers in acrylic on wood, and a white oak table, whose constituent parts were exhibited first at the gallery and then in Rodriguez’s solo project at the Five Car Garage in Santa Monica last March.