Including both older and newer works, Gispert’s exhibition demonstrates an increasingly explicit interest in infusing contemporary culture with the weight of tradition and art history. Two looped videos are included, as well as seven large-scale photos, three from Cheerleaders (2001), and eight from the artist’s newest project, Urban Myths Part I (2003). The combination reveals Gispert’s continued investigation of the hybrid space of assimilation and adaptation.
In Urban Myths, solitary figures and timeless green screens give way to evocative domestic situations rife with cross-generational possibility. The sets abound with visual signifiers that are more old school and less new—cigars, indicators of the divine, old stereo equipment—that deepen Gispert’s investigation into history and its continual synthesization with the present.
In Dinner Girls cheerleaders reappear, but are subsumed by their surroundings. Three engage in an old-world style séance around a dining room table while gold chains and encrusted medallions float around their necks. Here history holds its own. The girls’ jewelry appears as a contemporary corollary to the ornate mirrors and gilded clocks that fill the parents’ home, and their raised hands seem less gangster and more ode to ancestry.
For Turntables two dapper Cubanos sit in an American-style living room staring up at retrofitted boom boxes floating supernaturally above their heads. With divine doves appearing in paintings and statues around the room, the image remixes future/past.
Gispert’s series Urban Myths Part 1 indicates that the present is a hybrid of the past, and suggests a model of cultural adaptation over assimilation. As two populations intermix, a third, entirely different entity is created. The old is not merely abandoned for the new—traditions, customs, and signifiers co-mingle to form a fusion of behaviors and aesthetics.