Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle: JUGGERNAUT
Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle’s technologically sophisticated sculptures and video installations use natural forms such as clouds, icebergs, and DNA as metaphors for understanding social issues such as immigration, gun violence, and human cloning. In collaboration with astrophysicists, meteorologists, and medical ethicists, Manglano-Ovalle harnesses extraterrestrial radio signals, weather patterns, and biological code, transforming pure data into digital video projections and sculptures realized through computer rendering. His strategy of representing nature through information leads to an investigation of the underlying forces that shape the planet, as well as points of human interaction and interference with the environment.
Juggernaut was filmed in El Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve, located at the midpoint of the Baja California peninsula and set between the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez. The largest protected area in Mexico, El Vizcaíno is probably best known for its salty waters where gray whales mate and give birth during the first few months of each year. But El Vizcaíno is also home to massive industrial activity. As Manglano-Ovalle recalled: “When I made my initial site visit, even as I stood on the deck of the ecotour boat witnessing the surfacing of a gray whale, I knew that, as an artist, my real interest in this site lay in turning away from this undeniably awesome image of nature . . . turning my camera not on these ‘monsters’ of the deep (now the objects of our belated protection), but rather on the behemoths of our own making—the neighboring saltworks, jointly owned and operated by ESSA of Mexico and the Mitsubishi International Corporation of Japan.”
Manglano-Ovalle has received many awards, including a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Award (2001) and a Media Arts Award from the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio (1997–2001), as well as a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts (1995). He has had major exhibitions at the Rochester Art Center, Minnesota (2006); the Art Institute of Chicago (2005); Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey, Mexico (2003); Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art (2002); and Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (1997). Manglano-Ovalle lives and works in Chicago, Illinois.
Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, "Juggernaut," 2008, Super 16mm film digitized to HD video projection, 1/5 5:44 video loop, Collection Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego and University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Joint purchase Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Elizabeth W. Russell Foundation Funds and University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Museum purchase: Bequest of Therese Bonney, Class of 1916, by exchange. © Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle 2008. Photo: Pablo Mason.
This exhibition is presented in conjunction with ISEA2012 Albuquerque: Machine Wilderness.