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Erick Medel: "Material" and "Crooked System"

Physical Manifestations of Class Structures
"Structure #4" from the Material series. (Detail, click to enlarge.)

Art Department senior Erick Medel writes, "I re-present physical manifestations of class structures at the intersection of photography and sculpture. My work deals in constructions of normativity, and their role in repression today.  

The Material series explores concepts of construction and deconstruction. In transforming these 2-dimensional photographs of construction sites into 3-dimesional sculptures, I create a complexity of layers of meaning within the finished product. The juxtaposition between unused building materials and the images of unfinished construction sites highlights the transitional period that is construction.

"Crooked System," Wood, matte paint, 90" x 28" x 28", 2015. Within the photographs themselves, you may or may not notice the absence of the workers themselves. Their invisibility within this body of work coincides with their reality. The labor of these workers is lost within the finished product. Material then brings awareness to all the latent aspects of construction.

"I examine power systems and how they protect some, while terrorizing others. Physical structures are rendered literal metaphors in the work, for the ideological drives that underpin them.