Rodrigo Valenzuela’s work in photography, video and installation constructs narratives, scenes, and stories, which point to the tensions found between the individual and communities. He utilizes autobiographical threads to inform larger universal fields of experience. Gestures of alienation and displacement are both the aesthetic and subject of much of his work. Often using landscapes and tableaus with day laborers or himself, Valenzuela explores the way an image is inhabited, and the way that spaces, objects and people are translated into images. His work serves as an expressive and intimate point of contact between the broader realms of subjectivity and political contingency. Through his videos and photographs, Valenzuela makes images that feel at the same time familiar yet distant. He engages 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.
Valenzuela (b. 1982, Santiago, Chile) completed an art history degree at the University of Chile (2004), then worked in construction while making art over his first decade in the United States. He holds a BA in Philosophy from Evergreen State College and an MFA at University of Washington (2012). He is a professor of art at University of California Los Angeles. Valenzuela’s many residencies include Light Work in Syracuse, NY; a Core Fellowship at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; Skowhegan, ME; Bemis Center, NE and the Center for Photography at Woodstock, NY. In addition to his upcoming exhibition at Asya Geisberg Gallery, solo exhibitions include OCMA in Santa Ana, CA; Portland Art Museum, OR; Klowden Mann, Los Angeles; Laurence Miller Gallery, New York; the McColl Center, Charlotte; Galerie Lisa Kandlhofer, Vienna; Frye Art Museum, Seattle and Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Santiago. Accolades include a 2017 Painters and Sculptors Grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation, an Artist Trust Arts Innovator Award and inclusion in Open Sessions 10 at The Drawing Center, New York.