Negative Concord: Caves + Land

Assembly presents Rodrigo Valenzuela's "Negative Concord: Caves + Land." In this collection, Valenzuela creates geometric gestures in the landscape reminiscent of cave paintings to illustrate the complex relationship between language and abstraction blurring subjective interpretation and communal understanding. Caves and landscapes are uncivilized spaces free from cultural baggage, places that need no language, sites for the viewer to interpret freely, devoid of iconographic logic. The reflective safety tape that creates these shapes references Valenzuela's larger practice dealing with immigrant labor and construction work often performed by Latin American immigrants in the US. In English double negatives cancel one another and produce an affirmative, but in Spanish, they intensify the negation. Negative Concord conveys the struggle to meaningfully translate our human experience across languages and cultures. Now as part of the blockchain, these photographic NFTs become metaphors for this new, virtual landscape that is simultaneously being created, explored, and interpreted.


Rodrigo Valenzuela is a Chilean-born, Los Angeles-based artist working in photography, video, painting, and installation. Using autobiographical threads to inform larger universal fields of experience, his work constructs narratives, scenes, and stories that point to the tensions found between the individual and communities. Much of his work deals with the experience of undocumented immigrants and laborers. His work has been exhibited internationally, including in recent solo exhibitions at Lisa Kandlhofer Galerie, Vienna; the Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita, KS; the Art Museum of the University of Memphis, TN; Klowdenmann Gallery, Los Angeles; the Frye Art Museum, Seattle; and Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Santiago, Chile. He has held several artist residencies across the US and Canada including a fellowship at the Drawing Center, New York; the Core Fellowship at the Glassell School of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; and residencies at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, ME and the MacDowell Colony, NE. In 2021, Valenuzlea was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in Photography. He earned his MFA in Photomedia at the University of Washington, Seattle, and has a BA in philosophy from Evergreen State College and a BFA in art history and photography from the University of Chile.