by Xavier Robles
“As a photographer and installation artist, my artistic practice translates the material language of micro and macro economies that implicate working class migrants into a communal belonging. My inquiry—at once vibrant and digestible engages in a politically charged aesthetic that confronts the audience with popular imagery—as it lends itself to methods of both research and narrative investigations as primal modes of making that further engage in conversations about the migrant body in a circuit of perpetual becoming. In interrogating objects I create ways of understanding the failed promise of the gendered American dream advertised through national consumer culture. The bicameral mind in which I operate further traverses the socially and politically implicated subjectivity of power and fragments it through ‘the ordinary’ materiality in which I construct objects and space. Methodically oscillating through themes of the homosocial, touch, longing, belonging and desire.
Furthermore my lexicon is generated in and through the vernacular culture of flea market, grocery stores, dollar stores, thrift stores and the suburban shopping mall, places I grew up going to. Appropriating common materiality found in such locations and in my parents home in California and in Chicago allow for a melting and touching as they dismantle and assemble our lived day-to-day aspirational negotiations. In disassembling the function and value logic implicated in the ‘design’ of the object, I other it through the act of cannibalizing—further distancing it from what it was intended for. Simultaneously constructing spaces of absurdity through fragmented surreal polarities as it surfaces the humanity of my migrant body longing for recognition.
The series of images above are part of a larger series titled, ‘Cositas,’ also known as the little things as a way to tenderize the ways in which I am capable of transforming and imaging other worlds possible for the objects to exist in. A turn to futurity and simultaneously a present time where I/we can allow ourselves to imagine and transform as we often do from day to night.”
Xavier Robles is a Chicago–based artist and curator working within the intersections of photography, sculpture, and installation art. His efforts oscillate through notions of the homosocial, perpetual becoming, affect, and the absurd quotidian. Xavier complicates spaces as he (dis)assembles the implicated power structures in the “ordinary” in search of queer affect and a brown sense of belonging.