Artist: Dalia Banuelos and Daniel Bonilla-Vera
Media: Photography, String, Clothes Pins
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Merlino Gallery
Instagram: @deliaeffect & @dbvqp
CSULB undergraduate, Daniel Bonilla-Vera, is working toward his BA degree in the school of Art’s Studio Art program. In high school, Daniel’s initial plan was to major in music, but his love for taking photos changed that once he took his first photography class. Thus, you can imagine the disappointment felt when he was rejected from the school of Art’s Photography program. However, unlike his art partner, Dalia, who faced rejection twice, he still has one more try.
Their exhibition, Infraction, is composed of many pieces. Each piece is set up to connect to one another by a continuous string of black yarn. The yarn begins where a description of the exhibition as well as photos of the artist themselves are placed amongst the wall. It then continues to show the rejected work of Dalia with some of her work purposely placed to look as if its falling off. This leads to the focus of the room where two human representations lie on the floor while intertwining yarn hovers above with smaller photos and clothes pins attached. The next part shows Daniels rejected work with one of his photos beginning to peel off. Lastly, it finishes with a variety of photos and the bundle of yarn placed in a small trashcan.
Infraction‘s overall purpose is to demonstrate the anxiety and frustration Daniel and Dalia both experienced as a result of their rejected work. They also acknowledge how galleries are commonly used to glorify “trophy” pieces by using the space to ironically showcase the opposite; thus, deepening their purpose. This can be seen through the pieces of their worked that looked as if the were on the verge of falling off as if they are not worthy of being on the walls. The sense of frustration is heightened through the cuddled up and enclosed posture of the two human representations as well as the dark and abstract-looking photos hanging above. However, amongst those photos, there are empty clothes pins which represent the hope that is not and will not be lost, for new ideas and pieces of work will continue to accumulate. Therefore, the trashcan at the end of the exhibition is there not to show where they believe their work belongs, but where the institution believes it does.
Overall, I believe that the artists’s exhibition was brilliant. The fact that they utilized their so-called failed work to create a whole new piece of art with a complete different purpose than their individual work intended is mind blowing. It’s rare that I receive an emotional response the instant I walk into a gallery, but somehow these two artists managed to do just that. Despite it being so depressing, it is reassuring knowing that hope was not lost and that one way or another they will continue to do what they love. Infraction demonstrates the idea of fortitude that I believe everyone should keep in mind.