January 16 – May 23, 2021
Friday, February 5 | 5 – 8 PM
At first glance, Ridem by Gene Hracho presents itself as a scale replica of a military helicopter, carefully clad in metal and outfitted with munitions. Upon closer inspection, the viewer sees a clever assemblage of metal parts, gauges, fixtures and fasteners – all replacements for real aircraft features. The artist delights in these ingenious substitutions.
The material of Ridem bares a patina of time. The pieces and parts reveal time spent in the studio of a collector, waiting their turn to become art. Hracho describes his work as a combination of the aesthetic vision of a precocious youth and the working-class environment in which he learned to fashion objects.
Underlaying the playful gadgetry and meticulous craft is something much more complex. A seat in the open cockpit invites the viewer to imagine themselves in the aircraft. Here, the sculpture prompts questions about the machinery of violence, and its production, operation, and control. Where do we sit?