14. Marco Rios

  Marco Rios The Woman Made for Me was not made for me, 2013 Photo engraving on metal Drawing on varied sources from pop culture to art history, Marco Rios works in an interdisciplinary practice that is inflected with a distinctive noir sensibility and wry sense of humor. Rios plays with such grand themes as paranoia, death, delirium and love, typically conflating them in a single gesture within theatrical installations. He often uses his own body as a dictating factor in the physical and narrative form of a work, reasserting the presence of the artist in ready-made or industrially fabricated objects with a wicked smile. For instance, in Vanishing Intent of 2008, Rios built a room and lowered the ceiling to match his height, creating a claustrophobic and, for those much taller than five and a half feet, a deeply uncomfortable space. In The Woman Made for Me Was Not Made for Me, 2013, a photoengraving bluntly spells out its title on a metal plate that is exactly the dimensions of the artist’s chest. The words are centered on the panel and hang – irrational and desperate. In material and scale, the metal echoes a piece of armor, protecting one’s heart. The phrase is in fact appropriated from Robert Bresson’s 1974 film Lancelot du Lac, a retelling of the ill-fated Arthurian love story between Lancelot and Guinevere. And like the physically and emotionally wounded armored knight of the tale, The Woman Made for Me is an object that is both strong and weakened. It was created via the photoengraving process that uses acid to bite into the plate to produce the image while the language itself is rife with a self-centered attitude that brings to mind an individual doomed to unrequited love. In all, this is an image of contradictions, it is death and love merged together in a world that cannot separate the two.