September 5 - October 11, 201
Romer Young Gallery is pleased to present its second solo exhibition with Puerto Rican artist Pablo Guardiola. There will be an opening reception for the artist on Friday, September 5, 6-9pm.
Pablo Guardiola’s work references the poetic language found in everyday objects and the power of context in the creation of meaning. Through photographic and sculptural metaphors, Guardiola gives new meaning to objects, and weaves new stories. Maintenance Yard explores the 'markers of geography through historical figures Francis Drake and George Dewey, plotting story lines from the Bay Area to the Caribbean and back, emblematic of Guardiola’s own personal trajectory' (Hotchkiss). The exhibition installation is structured as a network of conceptual components and indexes that are layered to create a colorful puzzle of photographic imagery.
The works are heavily anchored in the idea of History as equation, where History is approached as a multiple choice narrative; inevitably the plot of the story is about its process of creation and the endless outcomes and permutations that can arise. In Northern California, Francis Drake is recognized as a great explorer and widely celebrated as a hero, while in the Caribbean 'he is execrated as a ruthless pirate and villain.' The Dewey Monument that commemorates Admiral Dewey’s victory at the battle of Manila Bay is part of a series of monuments dedicated to the Spanish-American War in San Francisco. To some, the monument celebrates the end of Spanish colonialism but to others it remains 'an American imperialist ghost in the Caribbean and Pacific, taking away the concept of true independence.' In both instances, the memorials 'cast a shadow over the Caribbean, Puerto Rico in particular.' Guardiola’s installation begins with history at its most basic level, but presents it as a pictorial trope. The historical markers inspire and reveal the fascinating possibilities and potential for history to permutate. As with much of Guardiola’s work, viewers are invited to to turn, to direct, to alter, to change, and to go beyond the linear information and narrative story, thus charting their own course and interpring their own history.
Born in Puerto Rico, Guardiola completed a B.A. in European History at the University of Puerto Rico in San Juan and an MFA in photography at the San Francisco Art Institute in 2005. He is a co-director at Beta Local, Puerto Rico. Beta-Local is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and promoting aesthetic thought and practice through various programs. His work has been exhibited at Vogt Gallery, Present Co. New York, San Francisco Arts Commission, New Langton Arts, Galeria de la Raza in San Francisco and at the San Juan Museum of Contemporary Art in Puerto Rico, among many others. He was most recently published in FRESCOS, 50 Artistas Puertoriqueños Menores De 35 (50 Puerto Rican Artists Under 35).