RAFAEL DOMENECH & ERNESTO OROZA
Hialeah Eléctrica – Metavector
Hialeah Eléctrica – Metavector will present a series of collaborative works by Cuban artists Rafael Domenech and Ernesto Oroza. For their first joint museum exhibition, the artists construct a site-specific installation that is both architectural and sculptural and functions on three different levels: as an artistic project, an index and an archive. “Instead of using the exhibition to show results, we want to use the exhibition as a tool to produce research – this process is open to developing pedagogical and participatory protocols with our collaborators,” say Domenech and Oroza. Using Computer Numerical Control (CNC) technology, the artists rework quotidian elements like vinyl and drywall (often found or repurposed), along with photos, newspaper, and typographical ephemera from their archive as the material vocabulary that constructs their visual investigations.
Bringing together shared interests and explorations into architecture, urban planning, modes of material production and adaptive construction, as well as mutual histories as Cuban émigrés to Miami, Domenech and Oroza fuse references to the South Florida city of Hialeah and Japanese architect Arata Isozaki (the architect behind the museum’s 2001 expansion project and 2017 transformation) as case-studies, sources for production and conceptual materials for the objects and structures in their exhibition. Hialeah is nicknamed “The City of Progress” and home to the United States’ second-largest Hispanic population (94.7% of residents identifying as Hispanic). It is also anecdotally known as the epicenter for fabrication of all types in Miami. The artists are interested in Hialeah’s vernacular response to globalized modes of production and economic infrastructure. Looking to modern architectural history, along with the history of The Bass’ building, Domenech and Oroza situate their installation at The Bass in reference to Arata Isozaki’s collaboratively-formed installation Electric Labyrinth (part of the never-opened 1968 XIV Triennale di Milano), which reflected on the possibilities and drawbacks of the rapid architectural (re)development of Post-WWII Japan.
 U.S. Census Bureau (2010). The Hispanic Population: 2010. Retrieved from [https://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-04.pdf]
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Rafael Domenech (b.1989, Cuba) utilizes and explores notions of architecture, urban design, and contemporary material production as research tactics for the production of different typologies of objects and spaces. His work has been exhibited at SculptureCenter, New York (2020) ; Socrates Sculpture Park, Long Island City (2019); Phillip and Patricia Frost Art Museum, Miami (2019); Fredric Snitzer Gallery, Miami (2019); Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York (2014); and the Artium Museum, Vitoria, Spain (2015); among others. He was the recipient of an award from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Tulsa Artist Fellowship, and the Cintas Fellowship. He holds an MFA from Columbia University.
Ernesto Oroza (b.1968, Cuba) is an artist, designer, and author living and working between Miami and Saint-Etienne, France. A graduate of Havana’s Superior Institute of Design and later a professor in both Cuba and France, his practice is geared toward highlighting and critically understanding human-object interactions and the role that collective engagements with material culture have in the making of community. He has authored several books on popular creativity as expressed in tool objects and the urban environment—what he theorizes as “technological disobedience” and the “architecture of necessity,” respectively. Oroza’s creative practice is grounded in community research, and he develops research methods as well as channels of dissemination that follow the vernacular practices and economic logics of his subject-objects. Oroza has been awarded fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, The Ellies and the HARPO Foundation, and received the Pernod Ricard Fellowship from the Villa Vassilieff, among others. His recent exhibitions and presentations include Rupture at Socrates Sculpture Park, New York (2019); Signos 36 at #00Bienal de La Habana, Cuba (2018); Museo Popular Concreto at Fredric Snitzer Gallery, Miami (2017); and The Transparent Object at Mmuseumm 2, New York (2017).