Nothing Personal

Juan Capistran | Rochelle Gomez | Marco Rios

07.06 – 23.06.2019

mandujano/cell and nationalmuseum in conjunction with B-LA Connect are pleased to present the group exhibition Nothing Personal with video and sculptural works by Los Angeles based artists Juan Capistran, Rochele Gomez, Carolina Hicks and Marco Rios.

Psychogeography Of Rage (sending up searchlights in the form of flames), 2019 is an ongoing series of works contextually rooted in the Los Angeles Riots of 1992 by Juan Capistran. The various projects explore the physical and psycho-geographies of the more than 25 year since the uprisings. Vermont Ave. is video documentation of an intervention. A text piece, created out of balloons and bricks, installed at one of many gutted sites that still remain throughout the city.
Welding with Shelley, 2016 is a record of Rochele Gomez welding an artwork in her childhood home—a site lit by the baroque light of Southern California, and suffused with the physical output of personal and emotional expression. This video presents in a physical manner the aesthetics of a working class home next to the aesthetics of an art object, which is a recurring relationship she addresses in her work. As such, the act of welding in this video disrupts the mood of the room, and creates a new mood—one in which the space and sculpture play off of each other.

Grief Mechanics 2.0, 2019 Is a time-based zine animated, edited, and scored by Carolina Hicks (SBTL CLNG). Thinking about the pain and bliss of being, exploring the psychic interior terrain, and how being alive is the most intense thing to ever happen to the artist.

Although fictional, psychologists have often cited Lady McBeth as the first OCD patient. In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Lady McBeth obsessively washes her hands because she is convinced she sees red spots on her hands. She imagines the water could wash her guilt away. “Out damned spot!, out, I say…” 2019,is a site-specific giant Luvox pill soap sculpture installed inside the bathroom sink of the gallery by Marco Rios. Luvox is an antidepressant medication which is used primarily for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder. The work is participatory as the soap is meant to be used as it normally would. On June 11, 1962, a trio of inmates escaped from Alcatraz, a Federal Penitentiary located on an island in San Francisco Bay. The three inmates tucked papier-mâché dummy decoy heads resembling themselves into their beds, escaped their cells and main prison building, and departed the island using an improvised inflatable raft from 50 prison raincoats. Inspired by the escape and fueled by his own desire to escape, Marco Rios creates his own dummy head in the work titled The Great Escape #1, 2019

Juan Capistran lives and works in Los Angeles. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally including The Bronx Museum, Bronx, NY, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, Museo Tamayo, Mexico City, Chisenhale Gallery, London, The Hammer Museum,Los Angeles, and Kurimanzutto, Mexico City. Using strategies of conceptualism, appropriation, photography and painting, the work of Juan Capistran, investigates socio- political issues. Through transdisciplinary projects, that question notions of class, identity, power and revolution, Capistran investigates the rejection, assimilation and mutation created from the collision of singular and multiple systems of ideology. In 2016, Juan Capistran and Hazel Mandujano opened Mandujano/Cell, a contemporary visual art project space that works with local, national and international artists on exhibitions and publishing. Mandujano/Cell is comprised of three physical spaces: design studio, book store and gallery space
Rochele Gomez lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. She has had solo exhibitions at mandujano_cell (2017), LAXart (2015), and Monte Vista Projects (2016) all in Los Angeles, CA. Her work was part of Caza: Rochele Gomez, Margaret Lee, and Alejandra Seeber (2016), curated by Sofia Hernandez Chong Cuy at the Bronx Museum of the Arts in New York.
Carolina Hicks is an interdisciplinary artist, self-publisher/writer, and musician born and based in Los Angeles, CA. Carolina’s praxis interconnects seemingly disparate research topics, interests, and media to strengthen her thesis that: Being Alive is the most intense experience anyone can live through.
Marco Rios is a Los Angeles-based artist who works in sculpture, photography, video, and performance. His work has been exhibited at LACMA; Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions; Artists Space, New York; Estacion, Tijuana, Mexico. Previous exhibitions include Death’s Boutique at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; Mixed Signals, a traveling exhibition organized by ICI; This is Killing Me, a group exhibition at MASS MoCA; Despair Beyond Despair, a solo project at LAX ART, Los Angeles; and the 2008 California Biennial at Orange County Museum of Art. Recently, he had his third solo exhibition “S” is for Sincere formerly formally “F” is for Fake at Simon Preston Gallery, NY; a solo project Anatomy of an Absent Artist at Santa Monica Museum, CA; and an outdoor public project at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis.

B-LA CONNECT is a platform to promote the cooperation and interlinking between the two sister cities’ creative communities. Over the next two years a major exhibition and exchange project is scheduled to take place between artist/curator run project spaces and collectives from Berlin and Los Angeles: In June 2019, 20 art spaces from Los Angeles will exhibit in 22 art spaces from Berlin. The interdisciplinary program includes art exhibitions, film screenings, performances, talks, and more. The following year, in 2020, the Berlin art spaces will travel to LA for a return visit. B-LA CONNECT understands itself as an international cultural exchange on a grass-roots level. It brings together members of different art spheres and scenes from both cities. New opportunities for interacting and connecting with each other are created and extended locally inside and transnationally between the two cities. In the sense of a positive globality B-LA CONNECT seeks to advance the cultural partnership between Berlin and Los Angeles. B-LA CONNECT wants to celebrate urban diversity, show presence and stand against reactionary forces. Berlin and Los Angeles share the urban self-
image of being the world in small, a place of cultural diversity and individual freedom. In light of the rising authoritarian and regressive currents worldwide the two cities stand for a liberal and cosmopolitan openness towards the world. B-LA CONNECT wants to build bridges where others erect walls.