The Heaviest Luggage for the Traveler is the Empty One
Magnan Metz Gallery is proud to announce Alejandro Almanza Pereda’s third solo exhibition with the gallery. The heaviest luggage for the traveler is the empty one will be on view from September 10 – October 23, 2010. The artist reception will be held Thursday, September 9th from 6-8pm.
Building on the tenuous installations of his 2009 solo show The Shit and the fan, which employed banal, everyday materials to challenge our notions of caution and safety, Almanza Pereda turns his focus to questioning architectural principles and how they can be manipulated to affect our sense of space. Referencing the first two Vitruvius qualities of Utility and Solidity, Almanza Pereda constructs several large-scale installations and drawings that work steadfastly to re-evaluate the hallmarks of these principles. The heaviest luggage for the traveler is the empty one begs to know the fate of a structure when it reaches its capacity to hold and can no longer “contain”.
Almanza Pereda examines these architectural concepts in the installation A doctor can bury his mistakes, but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines. The work, a multi-tiered scaffolding built from fluorescent light bulbs, each level supporting several potted plants, is a litany of contrasting architectural elements: strong yet fragile, nurturing yet rigid, encompassing yet encompassed. As Almanza Pereda states, “I imagine a structure that is contained by its contents: a museum contained by the artworks, a library contained by its books, an aquarium contained by water.” While the scaffolding initially supports the plants, they will eventually grow and overrun the piece, effectively containing their container and paradoxically creating a structure that is itself the content.
The heaviest luggage for the traveler is the empty one takes its name from an earlier work by the artist. In the structure The heaviest luggage for the traveler is the empty one (2009), two suitcases are stacked upon each other, their outer fabric covered with mirrored panels. The reflective facades frustrate any notion that the luggage is full or cumbersome; rather the two suitcases take on the effect of being eternally weightless. Both the piece and the exhibition of the same name leave us to ponder the definition of space and its limits, questioning whether structures are defined by the space they occupy, or conversely, by the space they contain.
Alejandro Almanza Pereda was born in Mexico and received his BFA in Sculpture from the University of Texas in 2005. His most recent exhibitions include You Are Free, Tape Club, Berlin (2010), Ideational Architectures, LA Municipal Art Gallery, Barnesdall Park, CA(2010) and Those who live by the sword, die by the sword, or by third hand smoke, Chert Gallery, Berlin (2009). His work is in the collections of El Museo del Barrio (New York), Colección Jumex (Mexico), 21C Hotel/Museum (Kentucky) and The Goetz Collection (Munich) among others.