July 18, 2013 - REDCAT - Hector Zamora
July 18, 2013

Hector Zamora

Hector Zamora, Panglossian Paradigm, 2013.

Hector Zamora
Panglossian Paradigm
July 21–September 1, 2013

Opening: Saturday, July 20, 6–9pm

631 West 2nd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday noon–6pm
or until intermission. Closed Mondays and major holidays. Free admission.


Hector Zamora’s solo project Panglossian Paradigm, on view at REDCAT from July 21 through September 1, 2013, is the first presentation of the Brazilian-based artist (b. 1974, Mexico City) in Los Angeles.

Working primarily within public contexts, the artist creates major works that often rearticulate the physical characteristics of a specific environment. In his varied interventions and installations, elements of architecture, urban design and building materials function as the semiotic basis for the construction of spatial patterns and arrays. Assuming the tectonic heritage of the context in which he works, Zamora transmutes rudimentary forms into structures expressed through mathematics, color and geometry. The applied primary elements are so intrinsically linked to a local economy and a specific system of production that despite the formal abstraction and playful nature of these compositions, the results can never be innocent. Akin to the statement by Roland Barthes on the narrative of the oeuvre, by abandoning the history and delving deep into the formalism of the composition, one inevitably returns back to the history. 

Panglossian Paradigm, the new project which Zamora presents at REDCAT, relates and deconstructs clichéd objects of Californian culture that have been exploited by artists and sociologists for more than fifty years. The result is a geometric hybrid that primarily appeals to the pragmatism and intelligence of the construction method implied in these objects, but at the same time activates the social and cultural connotations they have acquired over decades, as mass-produced objects and symbols of economic crisis.

The term “Panglossian Paradigm”—referred to by the title of the project—was coined by evolutionary biologists Stephen J. Gould and Richard Lewontin, to reverse the idea of ​​invention, and explain the potential for secondary objects to arise from a specific design. “An object can arise as a necessary consequence of other decisions and not as a direct adaptation for a particular purpose.”(1) The objects used in this project never imagined in their festive creative genesis, the result of a sophisticated celebration of design as a marketing tool, that they would transform into a container of multiple discourses, social conflicts and particular histories. In the end, Zamora questions the ideological framework of the tacit structure of objects, the ideals of a system based on principles of expiration and obsolescence and all those cycles and automatisms related to the history of evolution in design.

Born in Mexico in 1974, Zamora has worked in Sao Paolo, Brazil for many years. Some of his major projects were presented in public spaces, including Errant, a suspended garden on the Tamunduateí River, Sao Paolo, 2010 and Atopic Delirium, a public intervention located in Jimenez Avenue in downtown Bogota, Colombia, 2009. He collaborated in the BMW Guggenheim Lab Mumbai, placed in the pavilion designed by Tokyo-based architects Atelier Bow-Wow. He has been involved with projects for the 53rd International Exhibition Biennale di Venezia, Venice; the Medellin International Encounter 2007 (MDE07), Colombia; 27th Biennial of Sao Paulo; 12th International Cairo Biennale; Busan Biennale 2006, Busan​​, South Korea and the 9th Havana Biennale. His projects have been included in group exhibitions such as Resisting the Present, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris / ARC, France, 2012 and Disponible, San Francisco Art Institute, 2010, among others.

The Gallery at REDCAT focuses on experimentation through new commissions that often represents the artist’s first major presentation in the U.S. or Los Angeles. The exhibition program ventures to cross-pollinate shared concepts and critical discourses that connect art to other fields in service of an interdisciplinary program. Using different scales and temporary structures, the exhibition formats are flexible and constantly reformulated. REDCAT’s publishing program features major monographs and art books on contemporary artists. Starting in 2013, a new series of small-format publications will serve as guides for the exhibitions at REDCAT. These publications work as critical tools that open points of interest and contribute to the constant reinterpretation of the issues addressed in the exhibitions. 

(1) S. J. Gould and R. C. Lewontin. “The spandrels of San Marco and the Panglossian paradigm: a critique of the adaptionist programme.” Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences 205.1161, The Evolution of Adaptation by Natural Selection (1979): 581–598. JSTOR. Web. 1 Jul. 2013. 

The Standard is the official hotel of REDCAT.

Gallery at REDCAT is open Tuesdays through Sundays from noon to 6pm or until intermission. It is closed Mondays and major holidays. Admission to the Gallery at REDCAT is always free.

REDCAT is located at the corner of W. 2nd and Hope Streets, inside the Walt Disney Concert Hall complex in downtown Los Angeles (631 West 2nd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012).


Hector Zamora at REDCAT
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