DANIEL JOSEPH MARTINEZ

Have you seen my Clark Nova?

Sculpture and texts
Exhibition curated by Gilbert Vicario
(June 7th - July 20th, 2007)


Have you seen my Clark Nova
or
I want to vomit in your mouth and hope you gag on your insipid lies
(dancing is still the only way to start a revolution)

|EDS| GALERIA in Mexico City is pleased to present Los Angeles-based artist Daniel Joseph Martinez’s solo exhibition Have you seen my Clark Nova or I want to vomit in your mouth and hope you gag on your insipid lies (dancing is still the only way to start a revolution), April 27 – July 19, 2007, curated by Gilbert Vicario, Assistant Curator of Latin American Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.  Have you seen my Clark Nova… conflates several formal and historical references to create a caustic and irreverent commentary on the nature of political dictatorship, language and obscenity. Taking seemingly disparate references such as William S. Burroughs’ seminal and highly controversial 1959 novel Naked Lunch, the dictatorship of Fidel Castro, Donald Judd, and Zorba the Greek, Martinez creates a visual and textual tableax that considers the social and cultural climate that led to the reassesment of culture (and counter-culture) in the 1960s and beyond.
 
The social pathology of what Burrough’s considered the decay of American culture at the hands of material consumerism is articulated in his 1959 novel, which is coincidentally the same year that Fidel Castro overthrew the Bastista government in Cuba. Having been one of the last American books to have been put on trial for obscenity, Naked Lunch provides Martinez with a textual and analytic framework for assessing current attitudes towards radical politics and language and its place, or lack thereof in contemporary artistic practice. The cental component of Martinez’s installation consists of a Disney-like, mechanical caricature of Fidel Castro dancing like Zorba the Greek along with four panels containing appropriated text. Collapsing centuries of existential articulations of the automaton beginning with René Descartes; Have you seen my Clark Nova … celebrates the apparent immortality of  a dictator famous for lambasting contemporary Mexican children for knowing more about Mickey Mouse than their own history.
 
Daniel Joseph Martinez has created image- and text-based work dealing with power relationships in contemporary society for over 30 years. He was recently chosen as the official United States representative at the 10th Cairo International Biennale. His project, The Fully Enlightened Earth Radiates Disaster Triumphant, alludes to the transfer of cognitive structures from humans to machines in the late twentieth century, as informed by the Mexican philosopher Manuel de Landa. Recent exhibitions include the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston exhibition Indelible Images (trafficking between Life and Death) with Teresa Margolles, Oscar Muñoz, and Regina Silveira, and the inaugural solo exhibition Flesh Eating Prosthetic (opium des volks) How I Fell in Love with My Dirty Bomb (phagocitage des prothesis), at LAXART in Los Angeles. Martinez is Professor of Theory, Practice, and Meditation of Contemporary Art at the University of California, Irvine, where he teaches in the Graduate Studies Program and New Genres Department.

 

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