LOS ANGELES — Earlier mentioned the entrance of Guadalupe Rosales’s exhibition, East of the River, is a tilted mirror with the phrase “Un Rinconcito en el Cielo [A Little Corner of Heaven]” hand-painted throughout it in gothic script. Adorned with a dangling pair of furry plush dice and a blinking LED gentle border, it reflects the corridor driving that you have just passed by way of and functions as a harbinger for what’s to occur as you cross into the gallery: an exhibition of memory, prospect, and grief, all encased in nostalgia.
Best identified for her expansive on the web archival projects — “Veteranas and Rucas” and “Map Pointz” (both 2015), celebrations of ’80s and ’90s Latinx youth society formulated in response to the erasure of these histories in Southern California — Rosales’s 2nd exhibition at Commonwealth and Council focuses on the artist’s own working experience of her indigenous East Los Angeles. Hung all over the gallery partitions are 6 framed images taken at night time. In three of these, “Nicola’s,” “el cine” and “home” (all functions 2022), we see closed doorways of a strip club, a theatre, and a domestic area. These unopened portals represent recollections we as viewers are not able to enter, featuring a narrative only available to figures in Rosales’s everyday living. Still since of their thriller, they pique a curiosity — driving these thresholds could be a new or alternate truth. In the other images are web pages or objects in disrepair: a burnt-out constructing in Hollenbeck Park cast in a pink hue, a defaced and disintegrating Smurf mural, and a static lowrider propped up on a bejeweled stand. These vandalized, dilapidated, and damaged topics reveal the neglect of a metropolis and the threat of the evening, talking also to the instability of memory and the archive.
Somewhere else, a freestanding two-way mirror is mounted with LED lights to generate the illusion of an countless passageway. Concerning the two glass sheets are variations of objects currently existing in the exhibition set in this chamber are a Smurf figurine, and a pair of dice that seem to be perpetually rolling. Etched into one surface of the perform are dates, symbols, and names of mates who are deceased or absent. On the alternate facet is a rendering of the sock and buskin — the Greek symbols for comedy and tragedy — opposing genres in storytelling and comprehended to be the extremes of the narrative framing of human encounter. “Lucky” echoes this iconography with a unique paradox one particular side represents an eternity and the other our have brief and vulnerable life. Its title implies a specified optimism, but a single that is bound in time and prospect.
Etched, as well, with tributes to Rosales’s group is another mirror in “90022 (Leonard Ave),” named after an handle in East Los Angeles, an space undergoing swift alter and gentrification. On the floor and close to its bespoke body, the engravings occur in and out of check out like spectres. Analogous to tattoos, they are born into the area. And like grief, they’re long-lasting. A moiré mesh distorts the shiny surface area of the mirror, the materiality of the work obfuscating a distinct reading. The screen blocks a definite perspective, refusing to present a “complete image” or the entire story.
Archives, like recollections, are susceptible to decay, fracture, and rearrangement, constantly in approach. In East of the River, Rosales captures a substance response to a town whereby her reminiscences are held in just an ever-changing landscape. A web page of both equally mourning and reverie, the exhibition conveys a wistful hopefulness for the potential, just one that Rosales will continue on to seize in her individual idiosyncratic way.
East of the River continues at Commonwealth and Council (3006 West 7th Street, Suite 220, Koreatown, Los Angeles) by means of June 25. The exhibition was organized by the gallery.