DisPlaced: Reconstituted Memories and Unsituated Bodies (SUR:biennial@Cerritos College)
The 4th SUR:biennial | Cerritos College Art Gallery
DisPlaced: Reconstituted Memories and Unsituated Bodies
Michael Alvarez | Julia Orquera Bianco | Jasmine Delgado | Consuelo G Flores | Tarrah Krajnak | Sheila Garrett Rodriguez | Gabriel Sosa
September 7th - October 13th, 2017
Reception: Tuesday, September 12th, 2017 @ 5PM-9PM
Panel (in FA133): Monday, September 25th @ 6PM-8PM
DisPlaced: Reconstituted Memories and Unsituated Bodies, the 4th SUR:biennial exhibition at Cerritos College Art Gallery, features local, national, and international artists with personal and/or professional connections to Argentina, Cuba, Mexico, and Peru. Each exhibiting artist, through their unique artistic practice, explores the concept of home, locality, and/or region, as well as the existential dilemma of being displaced from these sites of safety and familiarity (some removed by force and some by choice; some physically removed and some just separated by time itself). Rebuilding connections to place becomes, for the displaced, an act of memory and, frequently, an activity of memorialization too. Whether critical or joyful, the reconstituted memories themselves exist within this tension between the Real and the Imaginary.
Tarrah Krajnak's SISMO79 series traces the artist's personal journey into the collective, long-term fallout from the late 1970s insurgency of the Shining Path in her native Peru. Julia Orquera Bianco's installation, Vuelos (Flights), invokes the sensation of floating amidst rocks suspended under water to recall the thousands disappeared (and most likely drowned) during Argentina's Dirty War of the 70s and 80s. But it also poses the question, literally inscribed into the wall of the installation, "Where is Santiago Maldonado?," alluding to the political protestor that went missing just last month, sparking a national reflection on the possibility that the past might be repeating itself in the present. Gabriel Sosa’s Take Me to Guanabacoa series explores Sosa’s cultural experience as the child of Cuban exiles and his own acquired memories of an ancestral home that will be forever extraneous to his lived experience, but is still intimately familiar because of epigenetic transference. Consuelo G. Flores' celebratory Dia de los Muertos-inspired altar in the gallery's display window, Ecos de Huesos, Ramas de Familia (Echoes of Bones, Branches of Family), combines photos of the artist's family with the symbolic imagery of animal bones, butterflies, trees, and the double-helix of DNA. Sheila Garrett Rodriguez's fanciful Screened In installation uses embroidered imagery on repurposed door and window screens, suggesting the promise of personal rejuvenation and communal continuity in the wake of domestic displacement. Michael Alvarez’s large-scale paintings represent familiar LA landscapes (Hollywood/Highland) and familial backyard environments (Backyard Bangers) populated with a combination of caricatures of the artist’s friends and family, as well as pastiches of other local characters from the neighborhood. Jasmine Delgado's colorful screen printed quilts from the SFV Fabrication series compress the artist's memories of a bustling San Fernando Valley into a mesmerizing celebration of the (sub)urban life of strip malls, restaurants, and related multicultural bric-à-brac.
- About the SUR:biennial -
Founded in 2011, by Cerritos College and Rio Hondo College, the SUR:biennial seeks to explore the complex notions of globalization and exchange that takes place in the ambiguous borderlands between Los Angeles and the broader 'South.' The independently-curated biennial exhibitions showcase recent and newly-commissioned works by local and international artists who have been influenced by the cultures and artistic traditions of Mexico, Central & South America, and the Caribbean. The 4th SUR:biennial is held in conjunction with the Getty's Pacific Standard Time LA/LA Initiative (Sept 2017). This year, the biennial takes place at seven different venues across the southern and eastern portions of the greater Los Angeles region: Cerritos College Art Gallery, Eastside International, Long Beach City College Art Gallery, Manhattan Beach Art Center, Rio Hondo College Art Gallery, Torrance Art Museum, and Whittier Museum.