Mooktamania René Mauricio Medrano
Installation; paint and paper, 2012
Situated in the corner of the virtual attic of the Corcoran Flagg building, an installation of manic vision and private noise stands brazenly present. Pieces of brightly colored paper hang on flimsily erected cubicle walls and cover studio floors. The sheets, adorned with patterned graphics of an arabesque aesthetic, surround the space shoddily. The overlay of these pages on the space suggests a decorative utility. The ornate and repetitive design proposes a similar visual occupation to that of wallpaper. The disconnection between the elements like stenciled pattern, material and color acts to distract from this reference to design. Instead of draping and carpeting the area with the same purpose as interior decoration, the pages rather remain as pages and do not subscribe to the illusion that is insinuated. The obviousness of the discontinuity enhances the materiality and presentation style and demands the paper to be read as banners or pages. Striking this balance between allusion to design and visual function allows for a greater aural embrace. It also allows for the tapestries to become fully activated by the black painting/writing. The black paint marks the pages in a congruent fashion throughout the work and thus becomes the only element to provide continuity. The dichotomy between the indifference of the paper and the mark making proposes a foreground/background relationship that again encourages spatial engagement.
The ingloriousness of the gaudy patterns and trashy construction is a testament to the inferior. It is signature for me to empower the pathetic by adhering superior conventions to things of a menial nature. In Mooktamania I present patterns on paper that allude to sacred and ornamental imagery in combination with harsh nearly illegible text in an effort to superimpose the pathetic onto the superior (and vice versa). The visual coupling of the two elements mirrors the actual content of the writing which is a long-winded rap about a fantastical version of me. Though not exclusively necessary, my rapping of my alter-ego self MEMO DA MOOKTA, activates the language present in a literal way. The installation is the rap and rap is the installation. It is more than just a method of presentation rather it is the presentation itself. Surely, my performance of the rap may bring a life to the work not currently present but the possibility is superfluous to the integrity of the writing. The rap describes me as a superhuman standing in triumph of my queer essence (queer not exclusively in terms of sexuality). The medium of rap as a means of expressing personal matter is another way of combining superior elements with subordinate material. This cognizance of class is a direct continuation of Lady & the Tramp (Spaghetti Dinner in the Valley), both conceptually and visually. The reference to hip-hop is also a continuation and a congruency between both projects one and two. It is important for the space to look manic and harsh and for the writing to only be nearly legible because it makes the space intimate on many levels. This intimacy is both inviting and intimidating. I welcome the spectator into my private space to examine my fantasy and learn of my second-rate nature.