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Johanna Unzueta

Born in 1974 in Chile
Lives and works in New York

Through sculptures and installations my work intends to bring into discussion the notion of labor, its technological, historical and social impact on the human condition. I mostly work with felt yet I also use materials such as fabric, wood and cardboard; how I manipulate these materials is as important to me as what is being represented, in this sense the notion of labor does not only exist as a social and historical context yet it is present in the fabrication of each artwork. My work as an artist is presented horizontally and equally to the labor involved in hand made and industrial manufacture. As an extension and counterpart of my sculpture practice I have also worked with video, photography and drawing.

The pieces I construct are based on architecture and on industrial elements and objects. My interest in architecture is focused on its symbolic condition, its representation of progress and human development. My interest in industrialized artifacts and machinery is tied to the notion of production. These objects, mostly tools and industrial type constructions, present a physical aspect – that of its possible manipulation or use – from which the viewer can become more involved and somehow relate to. On the one hand my work relates to the environment and on the other it relates to the body that occupies this environment.

Presentation-wise I work combining objects in different scales, from site-specific installations to model type constructions to live size or blown up replicas of objects generally related to labor. These variations in scale intend to produce a shift in the viewer perception and participation throughout my work and the space it occupies. They also intend to bring into the work moments of subtle humor.

Solo Exhibitions
2013 – Mechanical Movements – Vogt Gallery, New York, U.S.A.
2010 – Wintergarden – Christinger De Mayo,  Zürich, Switzerland
2010 – Snowfields – Die Ecke Arte Contemporaneo,  Santiago de Chile
2009 – Iron Folklore – Queens Museum of Art, New York,  U.S.A.

Group Exhibitions
2013 – SuperstructuresGalería Arroniz , México D.F. – México
2012  – Contaminaciones Contemporáneas – Museo de Arte Contemporáneo,  Universidad de Chile,  Santiago de Chile
2012 – Everyday Angles – David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, Harvard University, Cambridge, U.S.A
2011 – The S-Files – Museo del Barrio,  Nueva York, U.S.A.
2011 – The Life of Objects – Vogt Gallery,  New York, U.S.A.
2010 – Like a river that stops being a river or like a tree that is burning in the horizon without knowing it is burning -Temporary Gallery – Cologne – Germany
2010 – Epílogos – Museo de Arte de Zapopan – Guadalajara – México
2010 – Critical Complicity – Kunsthalle Exnergasse – Vienna – Austria
2008 – Cabaret Voltaire Boutique – Swiss Institute – New York – U.S.A.
2007 – Linea de Hormigas – A Gentil Carioca – Rio de Janeiro – Brazil
2005 – Trapped by Mutual Affection – a project by Galerie Christian Nagel Cologne/Berlin at the Miami Design District – Miami – U.S.A.

This post is also available in: Spanish