Constructions is my first NFT project, weaving together two of my most significant photographic series— American Type and Hedonic Reversal—as a unique set of 28 images. These architectural constructions, which...
Constructions is my first NFT project, weaving together two of my most significant photographic series—American Type and Hedonic Reversal—as a unique set of 28 images.
These architectural constructions, which I make in my studio and then photograph, reference forces of urban construction, destruction, and decay. Devoid of the depictions of labor from which these works were created and of which the work is inherently about, I also critique the ambiguity of post-war American abstraction and art world elitism. These works reference autobiographical threads in order to point to the larger sociopolitical backdrop upon which issues of migration and labor play out.
I construct narratives, scenes, and stories which point to the tensions found between the individual and communities. I utilize autobiographical threads to inform larger universal fields of experience. Gestures of alienation and displacement are both the aesthetic and subject of much of my work. Often using landscapes and tableaus with day laborers or myself, I explore the way an image is inhabited, and the way that spaces, objects and people are translated into images.
My work serves as an expressive and intimate point of contact between the broader realms of subjectivity and political contingency. Through my videos and photographs, I make images that feel at the same time familiar yet distant. I engage the viewer in questions concerning the ways in which the formation and experience of each work is situated—how they exist in and out of place.
About Rodrigo Valenzuela
Rodrigo Valenzuela (b. Santiago, Chile 1982) lives and work in Los Angeles, CA, where he is an Assistant Professor and Head of the Photography Department at UCLA. Valenzuela is the recipient of the 2021 Guggenheim Fellowship in Photography and Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship. He has received the Joan Mitchell Award, Art Matters Foundation Grant, and Artist Trust Innovators Award. Recent solo exhibitions include Screen Series at the New Museum, NY (2019), Lisa Kandlhofer Galerie, Vienna, AU (2018), Work in Its Place, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Eugene (2018); American-Type, Orange County Museum (2018); Labor Standards, Portland Art Museum (2018); Future Ruins, Frye Art Museum, Seattle (2015). Recent residencies include the Core Fellowship at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, ME, MacDowell Colony, NH, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, NE, Lightwork, Syracuse, NY, and the Center for Photography at Woodstock, NY.