September 9, 2017 - January 27, 2018
Opening: , -
3401 W. 43rd Pl, Los Angeles, CA 90008
Oceanside-born, Los Angeles-based artist Ruben Ochoa’s practice, like that of a land surveyor’s, engages space as both a concept and a collection of material forms that structure human life. For Ochoa, space is the product of specific and intentioned acts rather than a naturalized entity. Using materials that makeup the built environment—concrete, metals, wood—Ochoa creates artworks that reveal how construction techniques shape the spaces people inhabit and in turn directly impact their access and mobility.
While previous exhibitions of Ochoa’s work have focused on his masterful use of materials and his generative contributions to sculpture, seldom have his works been contextualized as articulations of a spatial practice. Ruben Ochoa brings together a focused selection of the artist’s early and more recent artworks that highlight his long-standing interest in space and his interrogations of the processes that bring it to being.
The first part of the exhibition gathers key large-scale works, each produced through a specific construction tactic—extraction, framing, obstruction, reinforcement. Collectively, these works structure and manipulate the way bodies move—shedding light on the often concealed intentions that give way to the spaces people inhabit and navigate through in their daily lives. The second part of the exhibition, envisioned like a drafting room, focuses on the lives and conditions of materials. Bringing together a selection of rubbings, drawings, paintings, sculptures, and installations, this part of the exhibition explores how materials themselves are imbued with charged histories as a result of their making, their use, and the economies in which they circulate. When put to the service of construction, what Ochoa shows us are the sociopolitical, economic, and cultural differences inherent in the physical makeup of the environments people exist in and the possibility of an expanded definition of place, locality, landscape, territory, city, and more broadly, geography—or what geographer Edward W. Soja once called the spatiality of human life.
Ruben Ochoa is organized by Art + Practice and guest curated by César García, Executive and Artistic Director of The Mistake Room.