Through April 4th, the work of artist Jorge Pardo will be on view at the Petzel Gallery, stretching the space into a bizarrely disorienting collection of objects and installations. This is the Los Angeles-based artist’s eighth exhibition at this gallery, and continues Pardo’s investigation of architectural and non-specific spaces that interrogate the limits of the gallery-space, as well as the way the viewer is conditioned into looking at art.
Using technology and structural design to explore virtual realities and utopias, Pardo questions the divide between everyday life and art, and is concerned primarily with unsettling the experience of viewing and the limits of fine art. Previous installation projects include renovating a colonial home in Merida, Mexico; re-designing the Pre-Columbian collection of the Los Angeles Museum of Art, and creating a restaurant for the k12 Museum in Dusseldorf in 2002 and his own home, which was built as an artwork for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles (1998).
The focal point of this show is a bedroom installed in the main gallery, complete with two entrances and detailed with posters on the walls. This 12 x 14 x 26 foot structure was constructed out of plexiglass, steel, and carved wood, and invites viewers to enter into the work as a form of refuge from the outside world, subverting the expected relationship between viewer and art object. The work continues in a similar vein throughout Petzel Gallery, as various domestic elements and art objects intersect to construct a space somewhere between the gallery and home, confusing the act of viewing with real interaction.
Jorge Pardo, untitled (2014)
Throughout, Pardo invites viewers to “walk inside the structure and to touch, enjoy, and participate in demystifying the space,” and works to collapse the distance involved in the viewing experience implied by occupation of a gallery environment. This work emphasizes the strict ways institutions and expectations direct our experience of consuming art, in its insistence on the art piece as shelter. The structure is intentionally ambiguous; walls and structure transform into both spectacles and functional objects, and the influence of design and architecture is at the root of Pardo’s exploratory artwork, stretching conceptions of interaction and formality.