The artist examines the relationship between archival images and their material context. Initiated by a period of extensive research at the Getty Research Institute, Maneros Zabala presents an installation of new sculptures, paintings and photographic objects that responds to the conditions under which images are framed, contextualized and experienced.
For her first major solo exhibition in the United States, Los Angeles-based artist Erlea Maneros Zabala examines the relationship between archival images and their material context. Initiated by a period of extensive research in the special collections at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles, Maneros Zabala presents an installation of new sculptures, paintings and photographic objects that responds to the conditions under which images are framed, contextualized and experienced. The works produced for the exhibition at REDCAT adapt the materials typically used in institutional and vernacular modes of collection and display to emphasize the ideological strategies involved in the mediation of pictures.
Maneros Zabala's research into the nineteenth-century tradition of Orientalist photography served as the starting point for the exhibition at REDCAT. Investigating how a picture's context determines its meaning, these fraught pictorial sources point to a genre of images that lack any coherent system of categorization despite their adherence to visual tropes of the ethnographic "other." By exposing a selection of Orientalist photographs to strategies of re-photography, Maneros Zabala reveals the ways in which the pictures are historically adrift, between forms of documentary realism and the picturesque, while also bearing their mark on the construction of the Arab world today. These works expand upon Maneros Zabala's paintings and photo collages that examine the enduring presence of idealized painterly conventions of Orientalism from the nineteenth century to the present.
Erlea Maneros Zabala (b. 1977, Bilbao, Basque Country) currently lives and works in Los Angeles, where she received her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in 2002. She has been included in such notable exhibitions as Manifesta 8, Murcia/Cartagena, Spain; Immaterial, Ballroom Marfa, Marfa, Texas; Picture Industry (Goodbye to All That), Regen Projects, Los Angeles; and After the Final Simplification of Ruins, Centro Cultural Montehermoso, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain. She has had solo exhibitions at Stiftelsen 3,14, Bergen, Norway; Museo Experimental El Eco, Mexico City; Carreras Múgica, Bilbao; Redling Fine Art, Los Angeles; Seamen's Art Club, Hamburg, Germany; and Abstract Cabinet, Sala Rekalde, Bilbao, Basque Country.
Gallery at REDCAT aims to support, present, commission and nurture new creative insights through dynamic projects and challenging ideas. The Gallery presents five exhibitions every year, often of newly commissioned work that represents the artist's first major presentation in the U.S. or Los Angeles. The Gallery also maintains an active publishing program producing as many as two major monographs per year. Proceeding from the geographic and cultural specificities of Los Angeles, its program emphasizes artistic production of the Pacific Rim—namely Mexico, Central and South America and Asia—as regions that are of vital significance to California. The Gallery aims to facilitate dialogue between local and international artists contributing to a greater understanding of the social, political and cultural contexts that inform contemporary artistic practice. The exhibition is funded in part with generous support from the Basque Department of Culture.
Image: Erlea Maneros Zabala "Untitled (three western male aficionado types engage in tracing the geneology of display and presentation devices)," 2011
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