The Land Scape


Text by Rocio-Aranda Alvarado for El Museo Del Barrio
Working in areas as seemingly disparate as writing computer code and live performance art, Geraldo Mercado makes work that blurs the boundaries of various expressive forms. This is a contemporary counterpart to the experimental videos that Raphael Montañez Ortiz created in the early 1980s, when he began to work with computers and laser disks. Mercado’s work draws from imagery found on the internet, specifically amateur fetish videos that are mild enough to be uploaded to YouTube. He pixilates and manipulates the color and speed of these videos. The work shares a number of characteristics with both drawing and painting as it was originally made to accompany a theater production about obsession, painting, and the sublime. The subject matter alludes to a number of possible stories: a woman’s thigh is rubbed; eyes and mouth are seen in extreme close-up; a man drinks ferociously from a bottle. The artist notes: “I like to use videos to tell stories in a non-narrative way, the same way old world painters would sneak small details into a work to tell a more complete story”.

The Land Scape was originally created to be screened during Buran Theatre Company’s “Nightmares: A Demonstration of the Sublime”. It subsequently took on a life of it’s own. The work was included in El Museo Del Barrio’s 40 year retrospective “Museum Starter Kit: Open With Care”. It was also screened at Detroit Contemporary and is part of the permanent collection at Present Company.

The sound component was originally performed live during Nightmares by C.S. Luxem, who provides the current soundtrack.

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