Exhibition in conjunction with FotoFest 2018 Biennial
Opening Reception: 6 – 9 PM Friday, March 23, 2018
Exhibition Dates: March 23, 2018 – May 5, 2018
Artist Talk 7:00 PM I Front Gallery
Art League Houston is excited to present The Unwaged, by LA-based artist Rodrigo Valenzuela. The exhibition features a single-channel video addressing unpaid labor, volunteering, and internship culture rooted in the capital market. Coming from a low income family and spending most of his twenties as an undocumented worker, the artist was never able to enjoy the privilege of building a CV that would ensure a career. The Unwaged comments on the stress generated by unpaid labor, career building gigs and the outcomes of being underappreciated economically.
The video features a collection of interviews with individuals that have worked for free in exchange for the promise of a “good opportunity”. The length of each interview was determined by personal endurance, and composed to appear as if they all took place in the same room. The strenuous process and resulting composite footage reflect the environment of capital oppression that one must endure in order to achieve personal and professional goals.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Rodrigo Valenzuela constructs narratives and stories which highlight the tensions between individual and community, and alienation and displacement. The artist utilizes autobiographical threads to inform larger fields of experience. Often using landscapes and tableaus with day laborers or himself, Valenzuela explores the way an image is inhabited, and the way that spaces, objects and people are translated into images. His work serves as an expressive and intimate point of contact between the broader realms of subjectivity and political contingency in order to 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. He holds an MFA in photomedia from the University of Washington, a BA in philosophy from Evergreen State College, and a BFA in Art History and Photography from the University of Chile.