Have a seat and let me tell you
September 10, 2020 - January 10, 2021
Spencer Brownstone Gallery is excited to announce, Have a seat and let me tell you, our second solo exhibition with Cuban artist, Ariel Orozco. Upon entering the main room one is met with a series of circular lights. The lights, embedded in four individual panels, slowly flicker on and off in a familiar pattern. Although each set of lights are uniformly arranged, a unique pattern of flashes begin to emerge from each frame.
Like so many of us this year, Ariel Orozco spent time observing. While navigating the crowded streets and highways of Mexico City, where his studio is based, he often encountered the monolithic, blinking facade of an 18-Wheeler’s rear. Trailing the truck, he transcribed the changing pattern of tail lights until the two parted ways. Each “painting” in the exhibition was made to mimic the back of a truck and its tail lights, and the flickering, a looped record of one route.
In line with Orozco’s artistic practice, this new body of work titled La cabeza en los pies, lies somewhere between painting, installation, and performance. By meeting the panel and witnessing the changing of lights, the viewer is transported to the truck’s recorded time and place. Static and staring at a blank canvas, a journey is made. Encounter, passivity and waiting, history, activity and projection. This encounter, originating from something as mundane as driving, perfectly encapsulates our relationship with art and the process of imbuing meaning.
The backyard features a separate installation of two roadway light fixtures alternating blips of light. The bowed heads facing the other are in mid-conversation using morse code. Orozco again combines quotidian objects and experiences -this time, a brief conversation with a friend -to re-examine overlooked meaning in everyday life during these times of isolation and introspection.
Orozco offers us a sparse installation and a simple request. Sit in my driver's seat and see what I see. In enacting the narrative of another person we are granted a heightened understanding of ourselves, mental, corporeal, temporal, and our perceived boundaries.
Working within a diverse array of mediums, Ariel Orozco moves seamlessly between performance, painting and installation in his conceptually driven practice. Often taking the form of interventions or actions, his work reflects on those overlooked interactions of everyday life by providing a new or alternative perspective on the seemingly mundane. Encompassing the deeply personal to the completely public, he nevertheless imbues his work with a compassion that is universal. Always seeking to give his audience an awareness of the people and things that surround us, his artwork provides moments of contemplation to reflect on the vagaries and marvels of life. Deeply symbolic and startlingly simple, Orozco’s work speaks a universal language accessible to all.
Ariel Orozco (*1979 Sanctus Spiritus, CU) received his MFA from the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana in 2005. His work has been shown at galleries, museums, and art fairs worldwide and is included in such collections as Colección Jumex, the Zabludowizc Collection, and the Museo de Arte Moderno, México.
The decryption of a conversation being had outside:
Ayer pasé cerca de tu casa. (I passed by your house yesterday.)
Estuve todo el día viendo películas. (I watched movies all day.)
Estaban reparando tu calle. (They were fixing your street.)
Espero terminen pronto. (I hope they finish soon.)
El fin de semana te veré. (I’ll see you this weekend.)
Vino, musica y arreglamos el mundo. (Wine, music, and we fix the world.)
Suena bien. (Sounds good.)