On view in the gallery’s Project Space October 23rd through December 11th, Juana Valdes explores the notion of culture, place, and chronology in her installation entitled ‘An Inherent View of the World.’ An Opening Reception with the artist will take place Friday, October 23rd, from 6-9pm at the gallery.
In this exhibition, Valdes creates a lavish, almost baroque accumulation of items which often get relegated to the discard pile when people are in the process of de-accessioning the so-called “dust collectors” of their past, decorative and sometimes utilitarian objects that might have been purchased on a family vacation or inherited from a relative and simply don’t belong in the next phase of life.
“The truth beyond the fetish’s glimmering mirage is the relationship of laborer to product; it is the social account of how that object came to be. In this view every commodity, beneath the mantle of its pricetag, is a hieroglyph ripe for deciphering, a riddle whose solution lies in the story of the worker who made it and the conditions under which it was made,” writes Leah Hager Cohen in Glass, Paper, Beans: Revolutions on the Nature and Value of Ordinary Things.
In the words of writer Julie Chae: “Juana Valdes invites the viewer to ponder the history of global trade through the display of china and other domestic wares collected for her show. A multi-media installation artist trained in Western post-Modern philosophy and with backgrounds in sculpture and printmaking, Valdes presents a Duchampian project in which the artist’s selected objects become the art. Each of the domestic wares presented embodies the cultural values of its time and place, reflecting aesthetic and economic decisions made by the manufacturer and by various consumers throughout its existence. Having exhibited art installations with maps, ships, sails and various other media in the past, Valdes continues with her latest project to explore transculturation, pigmentocracy, history, and memory.”
Discarding material possessions is never easy and each re-acqauintance with something long-forgotten prompts questions and memories. How was this once used, who made it, where did I find it, and will someone else find it again? The boxes are left at the second-hand store and reassembled without a thought of the original intent of the previous owner. It is here that Juana Valdes does her research, scouring the shelves for treasures past their prime, blowing off the dust and re-examining their value.
Valdes invites the viewer to question their own object experience and the movement of material goods as a commodity, encompassing cross-cultural populations and historical transitions.
Juana Valdes // An Inherent View of the World (Table Piece – detail)
7 feet x 16 feet x 16 inches
Collected decorative objects made of porcelain, bone china, glass,
and wood documented as still life settings