strobe is pleased to present Sisyphus Altered, an exhibition of new work by Leonardo Madriz. The exhibition will be on view from September 8th to September 17th, 2023, with an opening on Friday, September 8th, from 6–9PM.
Yeah yeah, there’s the rock and the notion of futility, but that’s not the point. In fact, that’s more of a blunt edge. Every fucking breath is starting again, y’know what I mean? But have you ever noticed how many waves a wave is made of? Light waves, dummy. Every time that rock falls, something else in its path is moved, which is to say something new is illuminated. Even though pushing the damn thing is pointless. I build a structure, and for a brief time light animates it, and then I tear it down, and if I’m lucky, I will build it again and it will be seen again. That’s closer to the point, if that’s what you’re interested in. But anyway, is that worth it, worth all the exertion of a body? Depends who’s asking.
In Sisyphus Altered, a strange scaffolding composed of studs and house remnants holds up an ashtray coated inside with decades’ worth of compacted cigarette dust. It now holds bits of burnt sage, which you can’t see, but maybe you believe it. Fragments of a shed, beaten-up wood, layers of exterior house paint, an old lawnmower blade, and a stepladder with heart-holes gesture at labor and memory, assembled together with elements of artifice such as fake flowers, astroturf, and gold leaf. Pieces of the shed are backlit by a light that dangles from a prusik knot, its wires spliced together by a blood-knot. Projected onto the installation is a short film regarding blades of grass. Elsewhere in the dark is a small assemblage on a wall, lit only by reflections of light.
Leonardo Madriz (b. 1987, Louisiana) is an interdisciplinary artist and musician based in Brooklyn, NY. Working across methods of filmmaking, painting, sculpture, installation, and creative writing, he makes expanded cinema installations and material assemblages regarding the inter- and inner- states of belonging. He holds an MFA from CUNY Hunter College, NY (2021) and a BFA from Louisiana State University (2010). Residency awards include Bemis Center (2024) and Vermont Studio Center (2014). His first solo show, Can’t Forget, Dying to Know, was exhibited at NARS Foundation (2023). Letters to Home, Pt. 1, was a selection of CURRENTS New Media Festival in Santa Fe, NM (2022). Select group shows in New York include Lucky to Be Here, Bronx Council on the Arts (2021); Heaven, 205 Hudson Street Gallery (2021); Orphans of Painting II, Ethan Cohen KuBe (2019); and Waiting for the Garden of Eden, White Box Gallery (2019).