Detail, Black Flag Macramé (2013); Plexiglass mirror, aluminum rod, macramé rope, raku ceramic bead
Site-specific installation by Martin Durazo ’90
January 21-May 17, 2014
Lenzner Family Art Gallery
The idea of housing a large population of strangers from varied backgrounds is a time-honored tradition among institutions of higher education. However, as a result of this abrupt integration, the student is torn between desiring social acceptance and the need for solitude and existentialist reverie. The physical remnants of this dynamic are embodied in the customization of the individual’s dorm room with personal effects and use of limited furnishings. This aesthetic formula privileges the visual over the verbal, creating an environment for the softening of differences and a condition for personal freedom.
Martin Durazo’s installation explores dorm-room aesthetics using a combination of his own personal objects merged with found and collected artifacts from Pitzer’s archive. Included are large mirrored components offering occasions for self-reflection and relational participation with others in the environment. Referencing iconic socio-political and historically-specific moments, several objects, such as a replica of Huey P. Newton’s peacock wicker chair, will be re-examined through the lens of rave culture using a fluorescent painterly approach. The same painting treatment will be applied to hanging macramé and disparate artifacts.
As a gesture to Pitzer College’s 50th Anniversary celebrations, additional elements will be woven into the fabric of the installation that reference Durazo’s own experiences as a student and dormitory dweller. These individualized memories will be combined with oral narratives from several Pitzer alumni and mementoes sourced from Pitzer’s archives that reveal a complex and hidden world of varying social interrelations.
Opening reception: Thursday, January 23, 2014 at 5 p.m.
Closing reception and catalogue launch of Martin Durazo’s Sleep to Dream exhibition:
Saturday, May 3, 2014, 2–4 p.m.
Lenzner Family Art Gallery,
Pitzer College Art Galleries
*The artist will be present for a book signing