Rodrigo Imaz, based in Mexico City, makes films, paintings, and drawings that confront some of life’s most complex emotions and political realities and presents them in a manner that is disarming, honest, and full of humor. For his exhibition at John Jay College, Imaz continues his investigation into a universal material: trash. He uses refuse as a means reconsider the economic structure and social relations of a place from bottom to top. Through careful consideration of the objects littering our streets, Imaz creates taxonomies of consumption, waste, and planned obsolescence. Though official histories are written by the powerful, the garbage, unwanted, and forgotten items Imaz collects tell the street-level history of the city.
Imaz positions himself as a future historian; his work attempts to look back on our present and ask what stories it will tell to the cultures that come after ours. Imaz’s ability to look greed, loneliness, environmental destruction, and/or political corruption (among many other cruel realities of life) head on, and morph it in to a work of art that is endearing and subtle, reveals a deft sleight of hand. Imaz makes work that appeals to the heart and mind with wit, historical resonance, criticality, and the urgency of an activist.
Curated by Jennie Lamensdorf.