ignacio perez meruane
spanish knife gypsum cave

October 11 - November 9, 2013
Opening: October 11, 6-8PM


Michael Strogoff is pleased to present Spanish Knife Gypsum Cave, an exhibition by Los Angeles based artist Ignacio Perez Meruane. Consisting of a series of photographs taken in the Nevada desert as well as two site-specific works created on the gallery walls, the exhibition is a study of locational identity as it relates to the increased mobility of people and materials.

An excavation of Gypsum Cave in Nevada, performed by the Southwest Museum in 1930, discovered evidence of early human life dating as far back as 10,000 years. The only road leading to the cave is now owned by Pabco building products, which operates a gypsum mine and gypsum board factory nearby. The photographs in Apex deposit (Pabco Road, Gypsum Cave) document the cave as well as this private road. Scraps of gypsum board scattered along the five miles leading back to the historic site act as evidence of the area's current mining activity. The site is at once one of great historical importance, as it provides a link to prehistoric and indigenous life in Western America, and one that, through the production of drywall sheets, actively produces multiple future sites in ever more distant locations.

As a complement to these photographs, Perez Meruane will execute a temporary alteration to the exhibition space. He will hang plaster panels on the walls, and then treat a large area of the walls with decorative plaster texture. The plaster panels will then be removed and re-installed elsewhere in the space, leaving absences in the large, textured murals. As evidenced by the common names of these textures, “Spanish Knife” and “Santa Fe Knockdown”, these texture treatments are often used to invoke distant, sometimes imagined, places. Together these works simultaneously invoke the immediate presence of a space while pointing to the generality of mass production.


(images by ignacio perez meruane)