Orange Tsunami

Gean Moreno & Ernesto Oroza: ORANGE TSUNAMI

Wharton + Espinosa is pleased to present “Orange Tsunami,” the first West Coast solo exhibition of collaborative works by Miami-based artists Gean Moreno and Ernesto Oroza. With an opening reception on January 17 from 5:30-8:30PM, the show runs through March 8, 2013. As part of “Orange Tsunami,” Moreno and Oroza have published Tabloid #23 (download the PDF here).

What would happen if all the shops in a tourist location would begin to be invaded by an abstract souvenir that everyone recognized as a malefic mass? Or what would happen if someone attempted to produce a souvenir that sought less to draw an emotional link to a private experience than to liberate the forces of sidetracked emancipatory projects? What would happen if a devastating invasive species leapt into the field of souvenir production and became a sign of the place it is devastating? – GM + EO

As they have done in their previous research-driven projects, Moreno and Oroza begin by zeroing in on contemporary variations of an object typology — in this case, they began with the souvenir — in an effort to understand how it functions in relation to forces of contemporary production, the generation of urban morphology and identity, and the changing terrain of user engagement. In a previous project entitled Pre-City, for instance, they sought to understand how an abstract plane made up of the different but limited shapes, specific metrics, and repeating objects that make up the stocks of building depots, construction sites, landscape nurseries, home improvement stores, and even pet stores, becomes a determining set of codes and sequences that simultaneously constrains and open distortive new potentials in urban morphology and city production.
In physics, a moiré pattern is an interference or distortion created when two grids are overlaid at misaligned angles or slightly different mesh sizes. As part of their 2010 Quebec Biennial project entitled The Moiré House (Or, ‘Urbanism’ for Emptying Cities), Moreno and Oroza posited the “Moiré House” as a space where two or more functional fields meet to confuse and expand a house’s main function. The tense exchange of the incompatible demands placed upon it serves to become the structure’s most telling quality and dominant marker of identity. Economic downturns are often the accelerating contextual force that causes this form to proliferate. “Imagine diagramming the residential functions of a house as a pattern, and then imagine over­laying upon that a second pattern of functions usually not associated to the home: a ham-curing establishment, beauty salon, cake shop, scrap collection yard, or marijuana growing house.” The visual field of these superimposed functions, engaging these multiple patterns, produce a Moiré effect.
In “Orange Tsunami,” the artists use an invasive pattern of object organization, undermining the standard normally dictated by the gallery’s natural architectural shape. This complicates the design and layout of the existing structure to create a framework that skews the natural rigid logic of gallery constructs. It removes decision-making based on intuition and design codification to perpetuate this Moiré effect.
Photos courtesy of Jayson Kellogg