New Works: 02.1
New Works: 02.1
March 14, 2002 ?y 12, 2002
Candice Breitz - Brooklyn, NY
Surasi Kusolwong - Bangkok, Thailand
Chuck Ramirez - San Antonio, TX
About the Artist
Born in 1962, Chuck Ramirez lives and works as an artist and graphic designer
in San Antonio, TX. Primarily working in large-scale photography, Ramirez's
oeuvre includes prints and sculptural installations. His work investigates the
rituals and forms of everyday life and is charged with metaphors of ethnicity,
gender, sexuality, and religion.
Ramirez has shown extensively throughout Texas and the United States. Solo
and group exhibitions include Bronx Museum of Contemporary Art, NY; Arlington
Museum of Contemporary Art, Austin Museum of Art at La Gloria, North Texas
State University Gallery, Denton, Lawndale Art Center, Houston, University of
Texas at San Antonio Satellite Space, Blue Star Art Space, and Finesilver
Gallery, San Antonio, TX. In 1999 the artist exhibited a photo installation entitled
"Long-Term Survivor" in ArtPace's Hudson (Show)Room. Recent international
exhibitions include ARCO'02, and Canal de Isabel II Museum, Madrid, Spain. His
work is currently on exhibition in the group show Politics of Difference,
which travels to Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, and Mexico City.
Ramirez was selected for his ArtPace residency by JŽr™me Sans, Independent
Curator and Co-Director of the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France. Sans is co-
founder of the Palais de Tokyo, an innovative contemporary art exhibition space.
He is also an adjunct curator at INOVA, the Institute of Visual Arts in Milwaukee, WI.
About the Project
As an artist and graphic designer, Ramirez processes and deconstructs the
media world in which he lives. His work employs visual and conceptual
techniques found in contemporary advertising and package design. Using
typography and digital imaging technology, Ramirez isolates and
recontextualizes familiar objects and texts to explore the human condition.
Always personally relevant, Ramirez has explored cultural identity, mortality and
consumerism through his photographs and installations. The images in his 1997
series, Coconut, slyly subverted stereotypes of those who cross cultural
boundaries. Yet in more recent work, Ramirez resurrects waste?tographing
filled garbage bags, dying flowers, and battered, empty pi–atas?lecting on the
fleeting nature of human existence while imposing the will to survive.
For his ArtPace residency, Ramirez used a commercial studio to produce 17
large-scale photographs of items referencing food. The viewer is initially
confronted with the stark whiteness of the brightly lit gallery space. Along one
wall hang twelve smaller images of raw meat, each immediately recognizable? whole chicken, sausage links, a beef steak?d bare on Ramirez's signature
sterile white background, emphasizing one of the most basic tenants of
humanity: we, too, are flesh. In contrast to the meat, the two photographs of
empty candy trays take on a new post-consumer life. Mounted on aluminum, like
labels on cans of food, these large-scale images represent unattainable
fulfillment and desire. Ramirez also displays two full-frame images of fruit cocktail
and green peas. Taken straight from the can, these fruits and vegetables are
magnified to epic proportions. The gleaming fruit belies the complexities of
multicultural mixing, whereas the peas signify the sameness of humankind. A
final image of a plastic cup from a fast food restaurant bears the epitaph, "When I
am empty, please dispose of me properly," a somber parallel between life and consumption.
In the center of the gallery, Ramirez displays ten prints listing ingredients of
popular food items. Only the ingredients are shown, leaving the final product to
guesswork. Signifying that humans are what they eat, the prints, openly placed
on the banquet table, become a metaphor for life itself being a banquet. Clean
and direct, Ramirez's photographs are consistent with past work transfiguring the
grotesque into something edgy and alluring, calling attention to items that seem
ready for consumption or disposal.
March 14, 2002 ?y 12, 2002
Thursday, March 14, 6:30-8:30 PM
Friday, March 15, 6:30-8:00 PM
Featuring Candice Breitz, Surasi Kusolwong, and Chuck Ramirez. Moderated by
JŽr™me Sans, Independent Curator and Co-Director of the Palais de Tokyo,
Brown Bag Lunch
Wednesday, April 10, 2002, 12:00-1:00 PM
Join us for a tour of New Works: 02.1 and a brown bag lunch provided by
Pecan Street Deli. Please call ArtPace to make reservations.
All events held at ArtPace, 445 N. Main Avenue. Free parking at Flores Street
and Savings. ArtPace is open to the public Wednesday thru Sunday, 12-5 PM,
Thursday until 8 PM and by appointment. There is no charge for admission.
445 North Main Avenue San Antonio TX 78205 t 210 212 4900 f 210 212 4990 www.artpace.org
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