Must’ve been a wake-dream: Guadalupe Rosales
The Gordon Parks Foundation
September 6 - October 18, 2019
Opening reception: Friday, September 6, 2019, 6-8pm
Through her careful collecting, preservation and presentation of vernacular photographs, letters, party flyers and ephemera representing Latinx Southern California youth culture, Guadalupe Rosales creates an expanding archive that brings visibility to a community that has been overlooked, misrepresented and criminalized. Through her collaboration and engagement, Rosales forms empowering counter-narratives that resonate in the public memory.
Relying on crowd-sourcing as a primary means to collect images and stories, Rosales first attracted a mass following for two participatory, archival projects on Instagram: Since 2015, Veteranas & Rucas has traced the collective memory of Latinx individuals, families, and friends, across generations in Southern California and beyond. Map Pointz, created in 2016, chronicles the underground party and rave scene in “SoCal” during the 1990s. Together, the two projects have nearly 250,000 followers.
Must’ve been a wake-dream expands Rosales’ archive through collaborations with artists and the activation of images, objects and ephemera into a hybrid installation that echoes obsessively decorated teenage bedrooms, and underground parties—both spaces in which Los Angeles area teenagers found refuge from the trepidations of gang violence, the 1992 L.A. Riots, and California Proposition 187. In an installation consisting of layers of photographs, video, party flyers, and a custom-made “go-go box,” Rosales poses questions about the legitimacy of the “Latina SoCal youth” experience. Many viewers revel in the familiarity of Rosales’ collected images, while others encounter these subcultures for the first time. Rosales writes, “I came to realize that we can forget certain details about the past, holding on to just a few. In time, we tend to lose those moments too. Through conversations and sharing artifacts with people who grew up like me, we can reminisce together—filling in the gaps or finishing each other’s stories if someone has forgotten the details of an event or memory.”
Must’ve been a wake-dream also features works by Rosales in collaboration with two fellow Los Angeles artists: A video projection by Jazzy Romero conveys the experience of cruising Los Angeles streets at night and a photographic triptych by Paul Mpagi Sepuya in response to Rosales’ archive explores perceptions of the body and the apparatus of the camera and archive. In her persistent and poetic recalling of personal and collective memories, Rosales preserves and reframes marginalized histories into an authentic and expansive record of a particular community, identity, and image.
Must’ve been a wake-dream is presented in celebration of Rosales’ 2019 Gordon Parks Foundation Fellowship. Recalling Gordon Parks’ legacy, Rosales says, “My work with archives, like Gordon Parks’ photographs and writing, counters forces of xenophobia, racism and injustice that are perpetrated by mainstream society. I see myself continuing Parks’ charge through my work, collecting and broadcasting the voices of my community.”
An opening reception for Must have been a wake-dream will take place on Friday, September 6, 2019. Guadalupe Rosales will join Director of Education Stephen Hilger in conversation followed by a performance in response to Rosales' work.