Manuel Acevedo

[GLORY 2011, Black masking tape and Flashe paint, 8’ x 14’]

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Selected Projects, 2011

Multiple Media and Photography, Dimensions Variable, Duration Variable


The Made & Unmade series deploys covert/overt military language through encoded forms in hybrid typography executed as wall drawings, works on paper and small structures. Inspired by the Bloombury’s Military Dictionary of Terms, I’ve created a journal of words from the letters A-Z that include sketches for future wall drawings combined with 1980’s era graffiti ciphers. I examine how the use of text is altered and manipulated in the construction of histories. In the Made & Unmade series I refer to military language as buzzwords, used in daily discourse to allude to or evade facts through labyrinth-like forms. (Images 1-5)

In the Keys of Light, the metaphysics of light and optics is an ephemeral material for interventions in public/urban and private/domestic spaces. In each of the works, I use natural light from a camera obscura and/or images from slide or video projections that collapse onto any surface. They are set in urban spaces or dwellings and seek to inspire the inhabitants by the mere beauty of light— not necessarily its usefulness. Simultaneously, the public viewer is motivated to question and better understand the phenomenon of light and their ephemeral properties. The Keys of Light project has been shown in Knoxville, TN, Bronx, NY and Dallas, TX from 2007 – 2010. (Images 6-10)

World Trade Center: Tropisms 2007, While participating in the LMCC Residency (Lower Manhattan Cultural Council) my studio faced north towards the World Trade Center Site from the 8th floor of the Equitable Building on the corner of Broadway and Cedar St. The daytime views were full of morning light, pedestrian traffic, lunchtime strollers, union protestors and crowds of tourist trekking through the post 911 scene. The conversion of the banks and the related Wall Street business district turned landmarks into luxury condos. I envisioned this series of drawings made on Polaroid film while studying the light, movements of casted shadows relative to the surfaces and existing structures made of concrete, glass, steel and alloys. I tried to visualize the WTC site as a neutralized space and architectural organism. I carefully manipulated the image through a photographic-process (chemical) and line drawing with a blunt object -- I attempted to re-construct the site in various forms. The drawings represent an anti-aesthetic vision contrary to Architects’ Proposal for the new site. I used architectonic forms connecting them to photosynthesis, interdependent suspension constructions and lightweight inflatable structures. Loosely framed the skeletal-type structures act as tropism -- turning and bending with movements like organisms from external stimulus such as sunlight, heat or gravity (Images 11-15).

The Re-visions Projects 2005 explore the nature of property boundaries, space within an urban context, and the effects of gentrification on marginalized communities. The photographed images on gelatin-silver print are manipulated using ink and pencil. The subject is the landscape, which has been converted from a derelict and neglected state into temporary structures, bird sanctuaries, and socially charged public spaces. (Images 16-20)

Artworks by Manuel Acevedo

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