In all his work, Rodrigo Valenzuela positions contemporary art as an uprooting of superficial politics. If picturing ruins is as old as photography, then its many incarnations across the political spectrum are a starting point for the artist. Much of Valenzuela's work calls attention to photography's affinity with destruction. It is a documentary mode and an embodied experience. The picturing of ruins is drawn out and contextualized in this first comprehensive catalogue of Valenzuela's Los Angeles–based studio artwork and photography.
Born 1982 in Chile, Rodrigo Valenzuela lives and works in Los Angeles, California.
“I construct narratives, scenes, and stories which point to the tensions found between the individual and communities. I utilize autobiographical threads to inform larger universal fields of experience. Gestures of alienation and displacement are both the aesthetic and subject of much of my work. Often using landscapes and tableaus with day laborers or myself, I explore the way an image is inhabited, and the way that spaces, objects and people are translated into images. My work serves as an expressive and intimate point of contact between the broader realms of subjectivity and political contingency. Through my videos and photographs, I make images that feel at the same time familiar yet distant. I engage the viewer in questions concerning the ways in which the formation and experience of each work is situated—how they exist in and out of place.” (Rodrigo Valenzuela)