Alejandro Almanza Pereda Strikes a Balance

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Artists Alejandro Almanza Pereda and Alfonso Zárate assemble metal shelving for the sculpture At the palace in the air at 4 am at Museo Experimental El Eco (Colonia San Rafael, Mexico City, 08.17.13). Production still from the New York Close Up film Alejandro Almanza Pereda Strikes a Balance. © Art21, Inc. 2013. Cinematography by José Pablo Escamilla & Daniel Loustaunau

How does a sculptor keep his work from toppling over? Installing new work in Brooklyn, New York, and Mexico City, artist Alejandro Almanza Pereda discusses the process and ideas behind his finely balanced sculptural works. At Storefront Ten Eyck Gallery in Bushwick, Brooklyn, Almanza Pereda drills holes into an unexpected array of found objects, including a bowling ball, a plaster bust, and a lava rock. Almanza Pereda and his artist friends carefully suspend and connect these objects with dowels and fluorescent tubes, creating a delicate sculptural network. Almanza Pereda explains that this improvised “common sense” engineering is inspired by the kinds of ad hoc, temporary fixes that construction crews make on the streets of Mexico and the United States. At Museo Experimental El Eco in Mexico City, Mexico, Almanza Pereda builds At the palace in the air at 4 am (2013) out of pre-fabricated industrial shelving. Instead of the typical rows of uniform shelves, Almanza Pereda creates a jungle gym-like construction of vertical and horizontal planes that hold decidedly non-industrial, domestic objects like trophies and suitcases. Culled from flea markets and sidewalk sales, these objects evoke Almanza Pereda’s childhood, a time “when you learn how to deal with objects and materials around you” and begin to understand their fragility and value. Featuring the works Sticks and Stones (2013), Sticks & Stones No. 3 (2013), and At the palace in the air at 4 am (2013). Including the songs “fiesta en mi barrio” by Scappare di Casa, and “Dicen (con Nubla)” and “Fata Morgana (con Lucrecia Dalt)” by Los Amparito.

Alejandro Almanza Pereda (b. 1977, Mexico City, Mexico) lives and works in Brooklyn and Manhattan, New York.

CREDITS | New York Close Up Created & Produced by: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Editor: Rafael Salazar & Ava Wiland. Cinematography: Don Edler, José Pablo Escamilla, Ian Forster, Amitabh Joshi, Daniel Loustaunau & Nick Ravich. Sound: Stephanie Andreou, José Pablo Escamilla, Scott Fernjack, Daniel Loustaunau, Nick Ravich & Erik Spink. Associate Producer: Ian Forster. Design & Graphics: Open. Artwork: Alejandro Almanza Pereda. Music: Los Amparito & Scappare di Casa. Thanks: Erik Benson, Deborah Brown, Museo Experimental El Eco, Esperanza Mayobre, Claudia Peña, Diego Pérez, Paola Santoscoy, Storefront Ten Eyck, Frank Webster, Letha Wilson & Alfonso Zárate. An Art21 Workshop Production. © Art21, Inc. 2013. All rights reserved. 

Contributor
Jonathan Munar is the Director of Digital Media and Strategy at ART21, overseeing the organization's overall digital, Web, and social media presences. He edits and contributes to the Magazine's "Art 2.1" column.

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