A Morir (’til Death) by Miguel Angel Rios in collaboration with Rafael Ortega will consist of a three-channel video installation shot in Tepoztlan, Mexico; the work focuses on a popular street game called “trompos” that involves spinning tops. Viewed from multiple perspectives, the video begins with one spinning top and culminates in a cacophonous profusion of numerous tops in a single game that includes thirty of the most skilled players in town, aged 14 to 50. Through the documentation of this simple scenario, dynamics of competition, invasion and territorialism are signaled both visually and aurally. The lyrical movement of the tops is accompanied by their intense, sycopating sound. Confined within a white grid painted on asphalt, the masses speak to both space and subjectivity. The relative violence is complicated by the game’s high formality and beauty. A Morir (’til Death) negotiates both politics and poetics in abstracting narrative about urban sprawl, congestion, and war. This exhibition, organized by curator Lauri Firstenberg, Assistant Director/Curator of the MAK Center for Art and Architecture, marks the debut of Rios’s work to Los Angeles audiences.
Spanning close to three decades, Rios’s international art career recently includes one-person exhibitions at Media Gallery at the Apeejay Techno Park, South of New Delhi, India (2004); Artspace, Sidney, Australia (2004); White Box, New York (2004); and group exhibitions at Gallery Noire, Basel Art Unlimited, Basel (2004); Artists Space, New York (2003); Sidney Biannale, Sydney, Australia (2002); P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York (2001); among many others, and a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship (1998). Born in 1953 in Catamarca, Argentina, Rios lives and works in New York City.
Lecture by artist Miguel Angel Rios
Lecture by Bill Kelley Jr., educator, independent creator, and theorist.