Outside the Garden
After all these years, I see that I was mistaken about Eve in the beginning; it is better to live outside the Garden with her than inside it without her. ― Mark Twain, “The Diaries of Adam & Eve”
Ibid Gallery is pleased to present the debut Los Angeles solo exhibition by artist Alejandro Almanza Pereda. Almanza makes sculpture, installation, and photography which leans on the relationship between precarity and solidity. His attention to the life forces in objects and material allows for allegorical understandings of the tentative balances perceived as resolute in contemporary social orders. His work typically focuses on the invisible power and influence imposed by architecture on every day life. Pushing against modernist artists and architects' utopic ideals and outsized egos, he champions a life outside of architecture and social design. Outside the Garden is part of Participating Gallery Program of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA.
Almanza’s practice primarily is an exploration and play of gravity, material, tension, and humor. The use of everyday objects is at the core of the practice, manipulating their physical, metaphorical, and functional paradigms concurrently. The object arrangements and meaning-making recall Dutch Vanitas paintings, flea market collections, and amateur construction (in the best sense – “for the love of”). His arrangements’ symbolic meanings remind viewers of the transience of life, the futility of pleasure, and the certainty of death, all with a wink of physical humor as an entry point into the work.
Resisting a documentation of his larger installations, Almanza’s photographs are a result of an ongoing search for a different set of gravitational laws. This refusal of a singular reality led Almanza to build an underwater studio, creating an altogether different reality with new dimensions and behaviors. The underwater photography tank allowed for object relations different than our everyday life and outside of our typical realm of physics. Ever the contrarian, Almanza’s recent wall sculpture The Suit Makes the Man contrasts the photographs’ potential for transformation with an ultra-stagnant sense of reality. Recalling gender norms, labor, dress, status, and class, Almanza makes sensible the strictly inherent architecture of social structure. Almanza enunciates this physical architecture around us in the form of clothing, buildings, and decorative objects, with the hope that it may also make more visible the societal and cultural structures binding our bodies and minds. By making these less-visible forms more sensible, we also see their fragility for what it is: something to be toppled.
Alejandro Almanza Pereda was born 1977 in Mexico City. He received an MFA from Hunter College, New York, and has presented solo exhibitions at institutions including the San Francisco Art Institute; Stanley Rubin Center, El Paso; Museo Experimental El Eco, Mexico City; College of Wooster Art Museum, Ohio; and Art in General, New York. He now lives and in Guadalajara, Mexico.
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