As the title "Help Wanted" implies this exhibit will be about labor – the menial work done by migrant workers and the jobs that Clark College students take to support themselves. The gallery itself will be divided between videos and photographs by Valenzuela and work (a video, wall murals, and 3-D objects) done in collaboration with Clark College students.
Rodrigo Valenzuela left Chile in 2005 to look for a place where he could grow personally and artistically, initiating his transition from being an emerging award-winning artist and teaching assistant at the University of Chile to being an illegal concrete laborer in Boston which, not surprisingly, changed his art-making process completely.
“True Story. I lived three years without documentation in the United States. I searched for work standing on the street and at labor agencies. I hired out as general labor on various construction sites. During this time, I never felt that my job defined me. Not because I thought that I was better than the other workers. Honest hard labor always makes me feel more skillful than editing videos or taking a photo.”
“Valenzuela chooses the singular figure of the goalkeeper as metaphor for the persisting existence of social stereotypes of migrant workers in America. The idea of the goalkeeper is powerful because there is an opportunity to relate, pass judgment, empathize, or sympathize. The goalkeeper can be seen as an underdog of society; a person, who invisibly takes all the risks, but reaps little to none of the reward when the majority succeeds.” (Brian Ohno)
Location and dislocation are central themes for Valenzela’s work.
In the series Auriatic Workers, Rodrigo hired day laborers to play soccer in his studio. He took photographs and videos and then rearranged the figures and erased the ball. These altered scenarios have a poetry and pathos that transcends reality, the images and videos exist in a strangely other cinematic zone. The dislocation of the workers is the only truth that remains.
In other works Valenzuela shows the viewer every detail of photographic set or mise-en-scène. He asks you to consider how the arrangement of photographic set or location effects your perception of spatial relationships and alters the mood a photographic studio. His Goalkeeper series captures information that exists both within and outside the pictorial frame.
Valenzuela’s work has been shown at: MOCA Miami; National Academy Museum in New York; North Dakota Museum of Art; Henry Art Gallery, Seattle: El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe, NM; COCA, Seattle; Longwood Gallery in the Bronx, NY; and Perspective Gallery in Chicago. He is represented by the Bryan Ohno Gallery in Seattle
RECEPTION: April 23, 5 to 7 pm
ARTIST'S TALK: April 23, 7 to 8pm
Gallery Hours: Tues.- Thurs. 10 am to 7 pm,
Fri. and Sat. noon to 5 pm