I am fascinated by the possibility of certain materials resisting the maker’s hand. The object that darts and recedes just outside of reach or perhaps the object that cloaks itself in a jet of camouflage. Or the parasitic object that aligns itself with and draws power and protection from larger structures. Or possibly, the object so generative and robust it pulses on, seemingly inexhaustible. I am interested in the properties of elusiveness and the environments that allow elusive materials to persist. I am curious about the thresholds of integrity that are maintained when an object is appropriated or consumed, and subsequently, the strategies it employs for its own conservation.
Voynich Botanical Studies
This work is a series of framed silver gelatin photographs, of models based on botanical illustrations in the Voynich manuscript, a mysterious 16th century manuscript of unknown authorship whose text, to this day, remains undeciphered. There are numerous speculations about the purpose of the manuscript and the origin of the mysterious language in which it was written — whether it was written in code, or merely gibberish, or perhaps an elaborate hoax. No one knows for sure and debates continue within academic and amateur circles. This is a collaboration with artist Ulrik Heltoft.
7 and 5
The project is composed of two sets: a Caspar David Friedrich painting copied five times by indifferent for-hire painters from Dafen village in Shenzhen, China; and a series of seven monitors on plinths, which concurrently play seven versions of a remade episode of the 1960s television program Alfred Hitchcock Presents.
The prominent seaside horizons in the two sets echo one another, but they thematically run in inverse parallel: in one set, the horizon vaults up to the sublime, and in the other, the horizon is weighed down by the narrative’s existential themes.
Mirror Symmetry Composition with Black Circle
Spherical Projections of Rectangles in Mirror Symmetry with Black Circle
These two videos are a reconfiguration of pre-existing films that depict obsolete rituals (an excommunication from the 1964 film Becket; and a French coronation from the 1994 film Jeanne la Pucelle: 2. Les Prisons). In the videos, modernist film strategies are dismantled, allowing the rituals to reassert their own anachronistic aesthetics.
Isabel Rosario Cooper
Isabel Rosario Cooper (1914?-1960) is an elusive figure who appears at the periphery of history. In this work, she haunts the present through the medium of cinematic conventions.
The project is composed of five parts:
1. Isabel Rosario Cooper Studio Portrait by Jose Reyes
Framed re-printed photographs of Cooper’s Hollywood head shots from 1940
2. Re-appearance of Isabel Rosario Cooper
A 16mm film where the ghost of Isabel Rosario Cooper appears out of the shadows to sing an old musical standard, whose lyrics bespeak longing and desire.
3. Appearance of Isabel Rosario Cooper
This video is a collection of clips taken from all of Isabel Rosario Cooper’s Hollywood known film appearances. The clips are then digitally altered to isolate the image of Isabel Cooper, edited, and then transferred to 16mm film.
4. “Dimples” Screenplay
This original screenplay is a fictionalized account of several months of Isabel Rosario Cooper’s life in Washington D.C. in 1934. The screenplay is loosely based on Cooper’s biography and also constructs the possibility of a role tailored specifically for Cooper. It is written in an anachronistic 1930’s Hollywood romantic screw-ball comedy style.
5. Arden Cho as Isabel Rosario Cooper
HD video projection depicting a fictional reconstruction of a day in the life of Isabel Rosario Cooper, during the time that she lived in the Chastleton Hotel, in Washington D.C., in the 1930s.
Manila, Philippines Lives and works in Los Angeles, California
MFA, Sculpture, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 1999
BA, Studio Art, University of California, Berkeley Selected Exhibitions
Made in L.A. 2012, Los Angeles Biennial, Los Angeles, California “Out-of- . . . . . . . . . ,”, curated by Leila Khastoo, Michael Benevento Gallery, Los Angeles, California
Raze; Revert; Repeat, Pepin Moore Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Picture Industry (Goodbye to All That), organized by Walead Beshty, Regen Projects, Los Angeles, California Hollywood Elegies, Art Dubai: Art Park 2010, curated by Aram Moshayedi Isabel Rosario Cooper: A Work in Four Parts, Thomas Solomon Gallery @ Cottage Home, Los Angeles, California (solo) 2009
Topaz, Martin Asbæk Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark 2008
Art Multiple 2008, Ke Center for Contemporary Arts, Shanghai, China Excavating the Structure of a Bootleg Video Screening, John Connelly Presents, New York City, New York 2007
Migration Addicts, Shenzhen & Hong Kong Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture, Shenzhen, China Belgrade Summer Festival, Belgrade, Serbia Transit Forces, Poznan National Museum, Poznan, Poland Migration Addicts, Collateral Events, Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy The California Files: Re-Viewing Side Effects of Cultural Memory, Wattis Institute, California College of Arts, San Francisco, California
Julieta Aranda, Jay Chung + Q Takeki Maeda, Melik Ohanian, Jozef Robakowski, Miljohn Ruperto, Lawrence Weiner, greengrassi gallery, London, United Kingdom For Tomorrow, Lucky Tackle Gallery, Oakland, California 2003
Definitely Provisional, Whitechapel Project Space, London, United Kingdom 2001
3rd Space Gallery, Quezon City, Manila, Philippines Selected Bibliography
Wagley, Catherine. “Smoothing It All Out,” Artvoices, August 2012
Moshayedi, Aram. “Work in Progress: Miljohn Ruperto/The Isabel Rosario Cooper Project,” Bidoun, “Bazaar”/Issue 20, Spring 2010: 38, 39 (illustrated).