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Luis Gispert/Loud Image

 

(above: Untitled (Girls with Ball), 2000, Fujiflex print, 40 x 72 inches, Lent by Mr. Lee Stoetzel, New York, New York)

 

Following the momentum of Luis Gispert's success at the 2002 Whitney Biennial, the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, is proud to present the first full-fledged solo presentation of Gispert's work in a major museum setting. Opening on June 5 and on view until September 19, 2004 Luis Gispert/Loud Image turns up the volume on the Hood's commitment to providing a forum for critical thinking about visual culture. The exhibition brings Gispert's evocative photographs, multimedia installations, and sound sculptures together to highlight the variety of forms and media the artist uses to engage his audience in an investigation of "high culture" notions through "low culture" references. Lawrence R. Rinder, The Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Curator of Contemporary Art at the Whitney Museum of American Art, will present the opening lecture on Friday, June 4 at 4:30 P.M. (right: Untitled (Dinner Girls), 2002, Cibachrome, 36 x 80 inches, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire)

Bringing many significant pieces of Gispert's work together, Luis Gispert/Loud Image traces his diverse interests and highlights his instinct for self-reinvention. Born in Jersey City, New Jersey, and raised in Miami, Gispert gained his earliest creative recognition as part of a group of young South Florida-based artists challenging the reigning paradigms of Latino/a representation in that region. Gispert, however, resists classification as a Latino artist and maintains that he intends for his work to be more critical than political. Growing out of his diverse interests in music, filmmaking, photography, and automobile stereo design, Gispert's work avoids facile irony, seeking instead to use apparent contradictions to elicit a visceral response from his audience and spark dialogue about contemporary American society and visual culture. (right: Flossing, 1999, chrome frame, rubber wheels, race seat, amplifiers, etc., 38 x 68 x 48 inches, Lent by Mr. Bernardo Nadal Ginard and Ms. Laurie Steinberg, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts)

The Hood is pleased to provide a venue for this dialogue, and for the exhibition of Gispert's diverse work. Although each of the objects featured in Luis Gispert/Loud Image functions independently, their exhibition together allows the visitor to explore the connections among them. Gispert's short video works bring together hip-hop music and surprising visual contrasts to contemplate the messages underlying pop imagery. The videos juxtapose young adult personas and violent urban "sound effects" such as car alarms, sampled rap phrases, and hip-hop rhythms to provoke questions about depictions of women, minorities, and urban subcultures in popular culture. Similarly, Gispert's large-scale photographs, such as Wraseling Girls, play with the viewer's preconceptions about women, American iconography, and traditional Western art motifs by juxtaposing the American cheerleader costume with ethnically diverse groups of women enacting poses that are variously derived from global religions, popular culture, and canonical art history. In Wraseling Girls, for example, Gispert arranges his subjects in a pose derived from seventeenth-century Italian sculpture, which references "high culture" Baroque while the figures' jewelry, painted fingernails, and elaborate make-up displays a contemporary "low culture" baroque predilection toward excess and ostentation. (right: Foxy Xerox, 2003, two channel color digital video display, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire)

Bringing together his own experience with and interest in esoteric subcultures, Gispert's sound sculptures also play with pop imagery and "high" and "low" preconceptions. Subverting the standard terms of minimalist sculpture, Gispert creates serialized floor pieces covered in speaker felt and inlaid with speaker components and automobile parts, combining formalist design with the physicality of deep bass music to create sonic sculptures that synthesize high and low culture references. Flossing, for example, reflects Gispert's impulse to combine sound and sculpture to create objects that the audience can interact with on more than a visual level. Using hip-hop music to reference youth culture, Flossing resonates with the experience of hearing the sound system of another car while waiting at a traffic light.

The Hood will present a wide range of events this summer to further the dialogue Gispert's objects promise to provoke. All events are free and open to the public.

Luis Gispert/ Loud Image is offered as part of New Art Now, the Hood's ongoing focus on contemporary art in 2004. Artists have always struggled to represent their visions of their times, lives, and surroundings. As a result of these struggles, art can connect us with the experiences of others and even bind us as a community. The exhibitions included in New Art Now continue in that spirit, as the Hood community explores contemporary art and society worldwide. (right: Untitled (3 Asian Cheerleaders), 2001, Fujiflex print, 40 x 72 inches, Lent by Mr. Bernardo Nadal Ginard and Ms. Laurie Steinberg, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts)

 

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Copyright 2003, 2004 Traditional Fine Arts Organization, Inc., an Arizona nonprofit corporation. All rights reserved.