Constructing Disaster and Decay
de Cerritos College Art Gallery
The thirteen contemporary artists participating in ARCHITECTURAL DEINFORCEMENT: Constructing Disaster and Decay at the Cerritos College Art Gallery produce architectonic ciphers in various mediums - paintings, sculptures, and assemblages - against the backdrop of our current physical and psychological drosscape, exploring the inherent foundations of contemporary social and environmental collapse, but also the ways we might conceptually reorganize our constructed environments, going forward, in response to such systemic failings. Aware of the dangers of an all-too-simplistic gentrifying impulse to “discover previously overlooked value in dilapidated spaces” - which tends to ignore the existential reality of individuals forced out, communities separated, and histories erased - the artists instead produce self-conscious visualizations, often with a memetic, semiotic, or poetic framework, and are unwilling to allow these representations and morcellated fragments to lose their dialogical dynamism by becoming just another formal arrangement or aesthetic image of ruin and waste, adrift from any context. Variously taking their cues from the tradition of follies and grottos (i.e. fabricated ruins common in 18th-century garden design), the 1970s-era structural alterations of John Divola and Gordon Matta-Clark, and the even more recent architectural interventions of Rachel Whiteread and Roger Hiorns, the participating artists see their source material and referential imagery not just as sites of melancholy or mourning, but also of radical potential, with ruination’s fragmentary and/or unfinished nature becoming an “invitation to fulfill the as-yet-unexplored temporality that it contains.” Rather than just reinforcing the structures of a problematic system, the artists seek, instead, to ‘deinforce,’ producing a kind of subtraction through addition.
The Cerritos College Art Gallery presents rotating exhibitions highlighting the work of emerging and mid-career artists. A special emphasis is placed on works that confront challenging and pressing issues in contemporary art and culture. In support of exhibitions, the Cerritos College Art Gallery also regularly hosts workshops, lectures, and performances.
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