The process is repeated in numerous “feralscape” surfaces in the gallery. The objects and colors, intermittently guide the arrangement of each feralscape. An example of this is the wall installation inside the Sweeney Art Gallery, which is composed of thousands of 2x2 inch, hand-cut paper and plastic tiles. From left to right, the wall arrangement gradually taps into the order of gradation represented in a color wheel creating multiple, overlapping areas of flat color. The same treatment is also illustrated on the arrangements on the amoeba- shaped tables where various objects that possess the same shade harmoniously exist. Cortéz’s extensive installation delivers several visual breaks of organized chaos by clustering objects based on color particularly in his temporal installation entitled NOTHING has changed, everything HAS CHANGED. It takes center stage in the atrium of the Culver Center of the Arts. Seven rectangular plinths on the floor each bear a complex tableau of objects unified by color. The arrangements on the plinths serve as an introduction to Cortéz’s artistic process—the gestural rhythm and rhyme of the objects in relation to their color classification. And like the characteristics of color field paintings, the cluster of objects arranged anamorphically steer the artist’s gestures, which are guided by control, chance, and cognition. To extend the gestural notion of NOTHING has changed, everything HAS CHANGED, Cortéz plans to shift the installation of the plinths and its contents throughout different areas in the gallery.”
"I am acutely aware that making “art of the moment” is dealing with a dynamic organism that changes very rapidly and one must be open to aesthetic flux." Xavier Cazares Cortez
The encyclopedic and sprawling mixed media two-dimensional and sculptural installations that I have been exploring for more than a dozen years since my solo exhibition at the Patricia Correia Gallery in Santa Monica. The exhibit is comprised of a myriad of transient structural arrangements. It is my intention to challenge notions of the fixed object by divesting and destabilizing the sure meaning of my artwork, preferring instead, its interrogation. In 2006, Kerry Kugelman writing for Coagula Art Journal (Issue 79) referred to my specific-site installation, The Frame that Frames the Framing Frame at California State University San Bernardino as a “feral visual world”. Consequently, I coined the neologism 'feralscapes' to describe these presentations due to their ‘wild’ and enormous shifting scale. The viewer will often find composite and unlikely juxtapositions of texts inherent in contemporary sign systems, and the dangerous and exhilarating power of mis/reading (decoding) these signs & signifiers. The artwork transfers the focus from ‘knowing’ the artist’s intention to an interactive relationship between, object, artist and viewer, and the discursive language generated. Audience participation is an opportunity to construct individual and group meaning and encounter differences. There is not a single reading of the work, namely because a multiplicity of ideas entered the construction. The thrust of the artwork is seemingly more about what we ‘see’ and not necessarily what is there. Furthermore, I believe that viewers gain power by inserting themselves in the art discourse, subsequently having their discourse adopted and viewed as legitimate by those who have power. The work thrives on the ambiguous line between fiction and reality. My approach questions the very process or activity that can transform or become a work of art. I am acutely aware that making “art of the moment” is dealing with a dynamic organism that changes very rapidly and one must be open to aesthetic flux. I tend to see the continuity of the body of my work as a theme to explore, rather than a specific or particular media that I deploy. Routinely incorporating various media into the artwork—whatever is available and required to fully investigate the subject. This notion is best illustrated with my solo sprawling installations FINGERS ARE CROSSED just in case at Culver Art Museum, UCR ARTS in 2018. Exhibition curator Jennifer Frias wrote, “[o]n a much larger scale, Cortéz’s installation corresponds to the color field process but with the use of different media. He employs over 9,000 square feet of the gallery space as his canvas or “the field,” and he uses tens of thousands of objects arranged by color in place of paint.
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