Rodrigo Valenzuela in solo exhibition at Cloaca Projects in San Francisco 5.25.18

Arena  by Rodrigo Valenzuela

CLOACA PROJECTS is proud to present ARENA, Rodrigo Valenzuela’s first solo exhibition in the Bay Area. ARENA consists of sixty feet of photocopy transfers on canvas wrapping around the interior of the gallery.


Considering the ideology of Manifest Destiny and the failures of the Homestead Acts that quickened the settlement of public land in the American West, Valenzuela’s images invoke these ideas of expansion and opportunity and, at the same time, painful histories of erasure that resonate with present-day debates on immigration, border control, gentrification, and climate change.

Recently appointed to the Department of Art faculty at UCLA, Rodrigo Valenzuela (b. 1982, Santiago) completed an art history degree at the University of Chile in 2004, then worked in construction while making art over his first decade in the United States, completing an MFA at the University of Washington in 2012. Using staged scenes and digital interventions, Valenzuela’s work is rooted in the contradictory traditions of documentary and fiction, often involving narratives around immigration and the working class. He lives and works in Los Angeles, California.


Valenzuela’s many residencies include a Core Fellowship at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Skowhegan School, Maine; Bemis Center, Nebraska; MacDowell, and the Center for Photography at Woodstock, New York, among others. His work is in the collections of the Frye Art Museum, Seattle; Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, New Paltz and Dimensional Fund Advisors, among others. Valenzuela was in Open Sessions 10 at The Drawing Center, New York and in the group exhibition Where Do We Stand? Two Years of Drawing with Open Sessions.