Ruben Ochoa at Art + Practice

Three photographs installed low to the ground in a corner of the gallery, provide a key to understanding Ruben Ochoa’s evocative installation, Sampled y Surveyed, which in numerous ways brings the outside in. These images: Overlapped in the 90063Still Tripping, 90033Kissed in the 90011 (all 2007) depict concrete pavement blocks and curbs displaced by Ficus tree roots in three Zip codes, a commonplace occurrence in Los Angeles where the natural and man-made must co-exist. As tree roots bulge, the sidewalks become a hazard. While the photographs depict this in situ, Ochoa also creates a sculpture using the proportions of actual sidewalks and curbs to relocate the experience in the center of the gallery. Get off me…I’m not on you! (2009-2017) is a work that when displayed often requires excavation of the gallery floor to expose the foundation. In this incarnation a rectilinear concrete island has been placed in the center of the floor. Three interconnected concrete slabs hover above this concrete expanse crushing the rebar rods designed to support them. The uprooted concrete blocks allude to the circumstances in the photographs however in his sculpture Ochoa has exaggerated the displacement.

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