Cute Girls, Heavy Metal, Sports and Hope

Cute Girls, Heavy Metal, Sports and Hope

TBA Exhibition Space

October 13, 2002

Pedro Velez
Cute Girls, Heavy Metal, Sports and Hope

September 13 – October 19, 2002

Thomas Blackman Associates, Inc.
230 West Huron Street, #3E
Chicago, Illinois 60610
312.587.3304 FACSIMILE

Cute Girls: Jennifer Ramsey, Pamela Jo Buchwald, Keri Butler, RebekahLevine, Maria Alos, Jasmin Moorhead, Lisa Williamson, Kristen Van Deventer,Emmy Mathis, Melissa Schubeck, Stefano Pasquini, Jennifer Schmidt, Sara Hicks, Yuki Kokubo, Carlos Ruiz, Monica Rizzo, Julia Hechtman, Rachel Roske, Edra Soto, Mara Ayala. The BRIEZY Video Show: Rebekah Rutkoff, GAP, Ximena Cuevas, Forcefield, Paulina Olowska.

Unfinished Jewish Sculpture: Milton Berle, styrofoam, acrylic.

Synchronized Swimming: Alix Lambert, Benicio del Toro, Mauricio Laffitte-Soler, Death*, and Pet Sounds at Jorge Pardos Beach House.

Refrigerator Show: stuff, JFK, magnets, grocery list, Jasmine Bleeth. Nina Luis vs. Judy Ledgerwood, Okwui Enwezor, Manuel Noriega, coffee.

Be Aggressive: Ralph Nader, Mike Kelley, Dune. David Robbins and The McLaughlin Group on top of a coral reef. Heavy Metal and a bunch of people who couldnt care less about art.

Essay by Shane Aslan Selzer.

Chicago based curator, Pedro Velez, has seized upon the term curating as a process for navigating the slippery terrain of an artists practice. By occupying a curatorial stance strictly as an artistic strategy, Velez aggressively promotes specific agendas regarding taste, selection and importance. The list above describes the exhibition Pedro has organized for his show at the TBA Exhibition Space. However, many of the people, objects and tactics have been used in Velezs past exhibitions. For example, David Robbins and the McLaughlin Group is a fake show embodied by a postcard, which exists as a poetic musing on context and association. By placing art stars in conjunction with advertisements, metal bands, movies and politics, Pedro manifests a New World order, a polycentric site for the meeting of Ralph Nader and Mike Kelley. The Fake Postcards throw you off for a minute and Nina Luis vs. Judy Ledgerwood uses a similar slight of hand for Velez to insert his curatorial preference into an institutional setting. Literally replacing the Judy Ledgerwood painting, regularly hung in the office of TBA, with a Nina Luis painting, Pedro gives us his version of a fresh new painting for the corporate wall. Not only does the move serve to give Luis a context which makes sense for a Chicago audience who is unfamiliar with her work but it also marks one1s arrival in a new place; not only Luis1 but Pedro1s as well.

Velez will also be distributing mixed heavy metal tapes in the gallery. The tapes become tiny shows unto themselves, curated by volunteers from an online metal music chat room where Pedro asks for tapes, and discusses with Metal kids what constitutes good art and how music can function in a gallery setting. The BRIEZY Video Show is a video program Velez asked Rebekah Rutkoff to curate for his show at TBA, giving her specific instructions for inclusions in her program. In these projects, Pedro releases curatorial control in search of fresh results while maintaining the stance of CEO over the vision of his enterprise.

Cute Girls is a series where Velez chooses women he finds cute and asks them to pose for a photographer also of his choice. These women agree to pose becoming poster supporters for Pedros imagination and reveals his own taste as a mechanism for gauging value based on appearance. Like the cute girls, the Unfinished Sculptures are a coming together of disparate elements to achieve a visual significance suitable to Pedro1s eye. Their unfinished status suggests certain question or fear about the life span of his curatorial decisions. Velezs taste is subject to change as he moves forward through the haze of visual culture and continues to reassert his own ability to choose. The point is that things often come back to taste, and the cultivation of individual taste is as dependent upon the social landscape as the people themselves.

Pedro Velez is an artist, curator and writer living in Chicago. His work has been reviewed in Frieze, Boston Phoenix, New Art Examiner and The San Juan Star. As a curator, Velez has organized exhibitions in rental spaces, abandoned buildings and marginal galleries. As artist, recent exhibitions include: Pretending to Pretend at The Soap Factory (Minneapolis) 2002; Pedro Velez and Juana Valdes at the Bronx River Art Center (New York) 2002; Tasty Dog at Atelier 25 (Krems) 2002; Lingo at ONI Gallery (Boston) 2002; SUK at Sesto Senso Gallery (Bologna) 2001; U/Topistas at Michy Marxuach Projects (Puerto Rico) 2000.

Cute Girls, Heavy Metal Sports and Hope will travel to The Museo de las

Americas in Puerto Rico during October.

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TBA Exhibition Space
October 13, 2002

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