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Number 2

Alberto Checa & Diego Gabaldon
Curated by Jean Chung
May 20 — June 30

Miami-based artists Alberto Checa and Diego Gabaldon’s syncretic approaches to production as performance is referenced in their perennial motifs of systems, structure and labor, underlined by their unique material compositions that question the changing authority in process over product in their respective practices. Number 2 walks the line of embracing yet destabilizing the intuitive relationships present in systems, dissolving the pre-existing expectation of function and hierarchy while constantly reimagining both interpersonal and contextual relationships.

Both Checa and Gabaldon present a careful array of photographs, drawings and objects that refuse the status of substitution for experience but instead act as reference, anno-tating both what has past and a proposal for what is to come. It is evidence of labor-intensive processes without celebrity or deity to show for it, that instead acknowledges the engagement with diverse participants – from performers and workers, friends and family, to individuals encountering the work – subverting and destabilizing the expectation of creative authorship.

Imperative to each artist is the complex relation-ships between labor, between systems of production, and spectatorship. Checa questions this relationship through his focus on the unseen, yet public, labor of the Latino working class that is often rooted in necessity and survival. While his practice departs from the experiences of these futile labor cycles, this is done carefully in Checa’s abstract, mimetic sensibilities that edge the absurd, as not to simply reproduce – thus retraumatize – the experience for the sake of creative production. On the other hand, Gabaldon interrogates this complex relationship from a more internal position, extracting the unobtainable desires rooted in hypermasculinity and the shifting status of product and progress in the face of vanity, especially in the media age. Gabaldon dissects the uncanny nature and uncertainty of resolution in our desires through testing the physique, questioning the idea of fulfillment and satisfaction to man’s own amour propre. Dealing with absence as much as the presence of –  the seen as much as the unseen – systems of production in late-stage Capitalism, both artists question, interjecting alternatives to these binaries while alluding to the dissolution of hierarchies prevailing in our immediate socio-political order. Materials and labels that connote specific environments in our everyday are expanded in their context granted by the artists and individuals, constantly reacting to create new relationships. In this way both Checa and Gabaldon’s practices are diaristic, constantly associating, and in flux with personal and shared experiences. Checa and Gabaldon’s own extended practices carries as much individual tenet as it is an intricate, interconnected web of ideas. As if a constellation in plain sight, the intermingling reference points the artists present flicker on and off in disparate ways, yet together they are bound to each other visually. Whether through sculpture, performance, drawing, or image, each artist ultimately presents their work as asterisks to a larger, collective conversation. The works refuse the static privilege of memento, and instead, like literal asterisks, play a flexible and transitional role – as emphasis, as omission and ad-dition, direction and action – that can be revisited and revised.

Number 2, curated in collaboration with former colleague and peer Jean Chung, will present works and joint references from the two presenting artists, Alberto Checa and Diego Gabaldon, consisting of sculptures, drawings, photographs and performance. Sculptures, both hung and freestanding, will pivot the space in-between drawings and photographs that activates the narrative of Checa and Gabaldon’s individual, yet communal art practice. In hopes to bring new currents to Miami’s creative community, Number 2 presents works across mediums that prompt dialogue from both local and afar, calling forth unique associations and new relationships to form during the exhibition. In addition to the exhibition, Checa and Gabaldon hope to welcome the community directly for public programming and performances.


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