Simon Preston is pleased to present Melancholy (and a Baguette), the second solo exhibition by Los Angeles-based artist Marco Rios at the gallery. The exhibition will open to the public on Sunday 13 January and run until Sunday 17 February 2013.
Marco Rios adopts literary, filmic and art historical references, producing theatrical installations and humorous performances that expose a preoccupation with paranoia, love, death, and delirium. In this instance, French cinema & literature, film noir and surrealism all act as departure points.
Above the gallery, a giant parrot is projected, appearing to use the roof as its perch. The work brings to life the final passages of Gustave Flaubert’s heartbreaking 1877 novella Un Cur Simple. Additionally, the parrot is a visual match to a stuffed parrot Flaubert had sitting on his desk while writing the novella and which served as his muse.
Dramatically stage-lit, a window transforms the interior gallery space into an exterior film set. Text written in neon is revealed through a reflection in a puddle of water on the gallery floor. The salient quote from controversial French author and filmmaker Michel Houellebecq creates the anxious and unsettling feeling of entering into the artist’s inner consciousness.
Devoid of any image or narrative, a series of empty frames appear to be slowly melting and forming teardrops. This gesture is further evoked in the work Crygasm (2010). The video is a continuous loop of the artist, frozen in thought, while enormous waterfalls cascade from his eyes. Elsewhere, a line of dialogue is taken from Robert Bresson’s film interpretation of the Arthurian legend, Lancelot du Lac (1974), and embossed on a metal plate. Unrequited love and loss are captured with precision and frenzy. Utilizing humor and slapstick, a bronze French Fry appears to attempt suicide from the gallery’s artist-made reception desk.
Marco Rios received his M.F.A. from the University of California. He has exhibited at LACMA, Los Angeles; Artists Space, New York, LACE, Los Angeles; MASS MoCA, North Adams; OCMA, Orange County and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco Recent shows include Despair Beyond Despair at LA>Mixed Signals, a traveling exhibition organized by ICI and Synthetic Ritual, Pitzer, Los Angeles. Rios will exhibit a solo project Anatomy of an Absent Artist, Santa Monica Museum of Art in June 2013. He lives and works in Los Angeles.