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Rodrigo Valenzuela, still from El Sísifo

Rodrigo Valenzuela, still from El Sísifo (2014), digital video with audio [Frye Art Museum, Seattle WA, Jan 31-Apr 26] Courtesy of the artist


Future Ruins: Rodrigo Valenzuela

Frye Art Museum
Seattle WA – Jan 31-Apr 26, 2015

Rodrigo Valenzuela. Hedonic Reversal #3

Rodrigo Valenzuela. Hedonic Reversal #3 (2014), inkjet print [Frye Art Museum, Seattle WA, Jan 31-Apr 26] Commissioned by the Frye Art Museum and funded by the Frye Foundation


Rodrigo Valenzuela. Hedonic Reversal #13
Rodrigo Valenzuela. Hedonic Reversal #13 (2014), inkjet print [Frye Art Museum, Seattle WA, Jan 31-Apr 26] Commissioned by the Frye Art Museum and funded by the Frye Foundation


Seattle-based Rodrigo Valenzuela is a Chilean artist who received a BFA from the University of Chile in Santiago, and his MFA from the University of Washington in 2012. In the last few years, his work has gained national attention, bringing Valenzuela several awards and residencies. He works in photography, sculpture, video and installation, often creating pseudo-biographical narratives in which he blurs the line between fiction and documentary.

This first solo museum exhibit features site-specific pieces commissioned by the Frye. Hedonic Reversal is a large-scale architectural installation composed of an amalgam of photographic depictions and sculptural “ruins” that offer a haunting yet inviting presence. The artist is exploring the aesthetic notion of ruins unto themselves, with the social stigma of economic failure removed from the equation of seeing and feeling. Valenzuela’s installations have a certain push and pull effect, the result of his showing the same subject through both photography and sculpture. This creates an environment of disillusion and suspended reality that is oddly appealing.

El Sísifo is a three-channel video projection that was also commissioned by the Frye for the exhibit. The piece is about workers who remove debris. Valenzuela has dubbed them the “13th Man.” With a nod to Seattle sports fans (known as the “12th Man”), this video work poignantly directs our attention to the invisible workers who pick up garbage after sporting events.

Concurrent with this museum show is a March exhibition at Upfor Gallery in Portland, Oregon, which represents Valenzuela’s artwork in the Pacific Northwest.

fryemuseum.org

Allyn Cantor


 Sun, Feb 8, 2015