‘Splat’, ‘Boom’, ‘Pow’ are common phrases found in the panels of comic books to describe phenomenological events: a plane exploding, a punch being thrown, or even ice-cream falling from its cone. Oftentimes the words do little to describe the reality of the situation at hand, other times, words and language can turn actual events into caricatures of themselves, where the things being discussed become a parody of themselves. Language elucidates as much as it deflects: For instance, the recent-term ‘post-black
’ coined by Thelma Golden
of the Studio Museum in Harlem
has become problematic in describing certain artists dealing with ethnicity and race, although not explicitly.
, gallerist of The Project
, recently noted how he freaked out when hearing people describing inviduals as ‘post-black’. His response was that he became “post-post”.
Danny Jauregui might be the next “post-post” artist to come out of UCSD. Deflecting criticisms leveled at his recent mixed-media work, he skirts boundaries such as ethnicity and class in portraying mystical transformations of the everyday. For instance, his recent gauche and acrylic drawings of streets turning into psychadelic wonderlands were criticized by Brad Borevitz as not dealing more explicitly with Danny’s suburban upbringing.
The ‘special effects,’ which in this case were abstract blob-like shapes drawn on paper, were made tantamount, rather than the process of going from the middle-class streets to a playful fantasyland. Gabriel Orozco and Sue de Beer are two artists who have similar relationships to this transformation of banal, ordinary experiences and spaces into new, stand-alone universes made up of their own rule sets: Sue de Beer treats rebellious adolescence as a phenomenon to study in detail and turn into a sort of extended time, atmosphere, and moods.in pieces like The Dark Hearts.
In Orozco’s case, he treats reality as a board game in such pieces as Ping Pond Table and Chess. Danny Jauregui is at the point right now where he understands the type of transformations he wants to make, but might not know what ‘rule set’ he’s morphing, and into what. A recent door made out of MDF wood and foam is an example of this. The door is nondescript, and the transformation (foam), makes the door look like its melting. But from what, from what social context, and into what? What is the door, and what does Jauregui wish to convey in the act of transformation? Possibly affect is the most important issue here, but the transformation is not a trompe d’oeil, nor is it so transparent so that the devices and process are made apparent. There are unanswered questions.
Daniel J. Martinez
, a Chicano artist, performs another more explicit type of transformation to a particular subject (his own body), in the form of an animatronic robot slicing his wrists and laughing maniacally (Happniess is Overrated, 2002). Dressed in a blue worksuit, his is a transformation that takes the surreal experience of existing in the world coming from an underprivileged, underrepresented class involved in a particular social struggle and conveying the challenge, conflicts, and sheer endurance via a metaphorical suicide.
’s work hints at both its origin and destination, while revealing neither to the audience completely. If art is breaking one set of conventional rules while producing other, more interesting and complicated ones, then “Post-post” is Danny’s game, and his struggle to affect the viewer into a state of wonder is one of the possible outcomes.