April, 7 – June 25, 2011
Curator: Patty Ortiz
Trans/Action presents four artists’ investigations into economics, corporate models and current marketing practices. These artists take a fresh look at how we view money as an indicator of value, power and love.
In some cases artists have assigned a new aesthetic value to the visual imagery of logos, currency and brand elements. In other works, the artists have taken common corporate marketing practice and offered alternative creative transactions based on the buying and selling of art. In all cases the artists of Trans/Action highlight our culture’s growing preoccupation with materialism and consumerism.
Ester Partigas (New York, NY)
Partigas defaces photographs of shoppers with graffiti markings, common product labels and taglines. Reminiscent of bold abstract expressionist works, Partigas uses trademarks, barcodes and logos as new elements of form. Partigas investigates the consumer consciousness and blindness to anything other than brand names and designer logos.
Maximo Gonzalez (Distrito Federal, MX)
Gonzales takes a longstanding tradition of weaving to a contemporary level by substituting wool for Mexican currency. He juxtaposes the monetary value of money with the aesthetic value of a handmade object. Gonzales questions the true value of money and the power of art by using currency as a beautiful material instead of a unit of worth.
Margarita Cabrera (El Paso, TX)
Cabrera investigates the import/export practices between Mexico and the US by creating a corporation of her own titled, Floresca. This corporation, unlike some US counterparts, values the worker, honors trade agreements and values the quality of the product over the “bottom line”. Florseca creates contemporary connections to cultural traditions and endangered artforms. In Trans/Action, Cabrera presents the evolution of her corporation by displaying different aspects of the business and its methods of commerce.
Kim Aubuchon (San Antonio, TX)
As many artists did in the late 19th century, Aubuchon has taken the exlusivity of gallery ownership back into the hands of the artist. The Artist Co-op Industry blossomed in the 1980’s with small artist-owned gallery spaces throughout the US. Artists realized that by sharing rental and operation costs they could create exhibitions themselves and could show their work without the almighty gallery agent’s endorsement. Co-ops vary from region to region and take on their own identity. Unit B’s formula is slightly unique in that one artist, Kimberly Aubuchon, has opened her house for artists to show their work. Aubuchon becomes a Texas version of Gertrude Stein, mixing high art with sofa chats; and intellectual discourse with backyard bonfires and cold beer.