520 Hargrave St.
Winnipeg, Manitoba | Canada
Gonzalo Reyes Rodríguez
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The current exhibition runs from October 22nd, till December 19th, 2021
It is with such great pleasure to present Gonzalo Reyes Rodríguez's solo exhibition, 'New Photographs' at Blinkers Art and Project Space. This is Rodríguez's first time showing in Winnipeg or in Canada. He is coming to us from New York where he has an adjunct teaching position at Parson's The New School. Prior to that, he was based in Chicago where he received his BFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He also holds an MFA from the University of Pennsylvania and was also a participant at the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture.
As a visual artist, Rodríguez's work employs archival material, often image-based, as starting points for further inquiry. For him, they are sites for inferring how they become positioned as instruments of historical artifacts. He writes, “my work draws on conceptual and documentary practices to examine the inherent ambiguities in the historicization of images. I create works in photography and video that interrogate archival media from the recent past and their relationships to hegemony, colonial amnesia, and cultural representation.”
In this exhibition, 'New Photographs', Rodríguez continues this manner of thinking through images. The basis for the works in the exhibition starts with a set of found pictures new to Rodríguez. The images are known to have been captured and printed roughly between the late 80s and early 90s. It becomes a point of speculation, analysis, and projection for the artist as he investigates the particularities of the subject depicted in the images. Over a long period of ruminating, researching, and maintaining possession of the pictures, his perspective on them remains shifting. The images continue to become new to him. The collection of photographs grows even more complicated when he invites friends and image analysis professionals to provide their varying insights. Any decisive narrative Rodríguez ascertains around the group of images comes up as insufficient. The work nudges us to ask; how much can we really know, with certainty, about someone or their life through photographs? Can we trust what we piece together? How much of this knowledge is merely our own projection or mixed with our own proclivities? Rodríguez began his treatment of the images from an analytical distance and through an evenhanded curiosity; deciphering the contents of the images without much personal attachment. But the longer he kept them his relationship with them evolved. Strands of his own personal narrative became inescapably tangled. The exhibition consists of a series of collaged images, fragments of the found photos in his studio space, and a video diptych of colleagues trying to provide their professional takes of the found photographs. 'New Photographs' toggles between an objective interpretation and an acceptance of the limits of this very means of discernment.
Rodríguez's recent projects include solo exhibitions at Terremoto/La Postal, Mexico City, Roots & Culture, Chicago, and the Windor Contemporáneo in Madrid. His work has been featured in Hyperallergic, Contemporary Art Daily, Public Parking, and the Daily Lazy. His work has been supported by the Illinois Arts Council, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts. He was recently a visiting artist and lecturer at Minneapolis College of Art and Design as well as an artist in residence at MassMoCA.
With deep respect, empathy, and consideration we recognize and learn from the antipathies that have taken place on this land and waters we live and settle on. Blinkers Art and Project Space stand on the land space marked as Treaty One Territory also known as Winnipeg in Manitoba. It is the original territories of the Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples, and the homeland of the Métis Nation. We strive to move out of a place of ignorance and make it our ongoing responsibility to not perpetuate the history of violence on these lands by staying in constant awareness of it. It is our constant drive to educate ourselves about the truth of the first peoples of this land; the peoples who continue to take care, defend, and protect the land. Paying reverence to the land is a small act of reconciliation and reparations that honours the often unspoken histories of so-called Canada.
We are very thankful for the ongoing support we receive from donations, volunteers, Canada Council for the Arts, the Manitoba Arts Council, and Winnipeg Arts Council; all of which help make our programming possible.