August 29 – October 15, 2006
Louis Hock is a San Diego based artist whose films, videotapes, and media installations over the past 20 years have often focused on the U.S./Mexican border region and taken-up issues around undocumented workers and immigration. The UAM will present three major installations --- Pirámide del Sol: a monument to invisible labor (2002), Shelter (2000-06) and American Desert (2006) --- plus a photographic suite, Nightscope Series (2001-03) providing a rare opportunity to survey Hock’s activity from the past six years.
Pirámide del Sol: a monument to invisible labor consists of hundreds of polypropylene plastic berry baskets stacked into a pyramid, rising over six feet high in the gallery. The work compares the labor essential to the construction of the ancient Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan to the picking of millions of tons of strawberries in California. In the installation American Desert, Hock presents his interests in the cultural and political symbolism of the landscape. He combines a diverse range of source material, including appropriated advertisements and cartoons, night vision footage, and video documentation of his own travels in the Southwestern desert. Hock’s Nightscope Series was produced with a night vision camera used by the border patrol to detect illegal immigrants crossing into the US at night. The imaging technology reduces the body to an abstract graphic notation. Hock’s eerie, green bodies of illegal immigrants, captured by the cameras of the U.S. border patrol, render the invisible, visible.