Stephen G. Rhodes
condiciones aún por titular, 2015 | Installation View: Museo de Arte de la Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogota, 2015 | Courtesy the artist and Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin
Oscar Murillo’s exhibition “land with lost olive trees” continues the artist’s emphasis on material – not only for aesthetic reasons, but also as a means of articulating a state of “fossilization” on both a micro- and macro-scale. This so-called fossilization – a suspended or frozen state – acts as a magnifier of current societal evolution. Murillo’s employment of materials was best encapsulated in his exhibition “condiciones aún por titular” at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Bogota last year.
Here the work of Stephen G. Rhodes materializes problems endemic to refuge and assimilation by building a scenographic conundrum of uninhabited shelter, architectural folly, dissident voices, and discursive film revolving around case histories of two abandoned communities. The environmental disaster of the Bayou Corne sinkhole in Louisiana is superimposed with the irreverent decampment of Sweethaven Village, an artificially constructed film set on the island of Malta for Robert Altman’s movie “Popeye” (1979). Upstairs and downstairs, the conflation of the two locations metaphorically questions the inseparability of symptoms leading to any exodus.