Texas 50 at Art Pace San Antonio, TX
About the Project
For his project at ArtPace, Lordy Rodriguez continues his exploration of map-
making as a personal interpretation. Incorporating video and sculptural elements
for the first time, Rodriguez has created new work based on the geography of
Texas and San Antonio's central location within the Lone Star State.
Rodriguez's installation is comprised of four hand-drawn maps placed atop
irregularly shaped platforms and four video monitors. Suggesting an intersection
of roads or a dioramic relief map, the installation forms an ordinal axis. The
drawings and the videos refer to four road trips that the artist took during his
residency. Traveling north, south, east, and west from San Antonio, Rodriguez
documented the moving asphalt as seen from beneath the car. The resulting
images are barely recognizable as a road, appearing as a fast-paced blur of grey
and black. To indicate the artist's exact location in relation to the video, a small
light marks a specific point on each map. However, like his previous work,
Rodriguez provides only cursory clues to any actual place. The maps,
reconfigured as imaginary geographies, collapse local and foreign, real and
invented locations. These cartographies are no more precise than the moving
images of unidentifiable highway.
Introducing an element of time into this new work, Rodriguez complicates the
viewer's attempts to reconcile travel, origin, and destination. The slow movement
of the "you are here" light can only be witnessed through patience or repeat
visits, and the rapidly moving abstract landscapes belie a clear narrative. The
question, "where are you?" is constantly at play.
Rodriguez has consistently used strategies of misrecognition and
misdirection to challenge our assumptions of the meaning of place. Viewed within
the context of American car culture, made quite literal in this new work,
Rodriguez reflects on the links between memory, perception, and cartography.
Commenting on the nature of his work, Rodriguez has said, "The question of
reality and the different interpretations of what is ?eal' are contained in the map."