Phantom Sightings

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Ruben Ochoa and Marco Rios attended the MFA program at the University of California, Irvine, around the same time at the beginning of this decade. Since then, each artist has developed distinct concerns, with Ochoa spending a number of years organizing shows in CLASS: C, a mobile gallery, and then shifting to photography and sculptural installations that correspond with natural and cultural interventions into built environment. Rios's performances and installations have reflected anxieties elicited by institutional spaces. In FANGORIA (2005), Rios's site-specific installation on the campus of UC Irvine, he created a simulation of an office filling up with blood, even to the point of it dripping out the window— taking the banal campus setting and transforming it into a gothic horror still. Rios and Ochoa have worked on a number of projects together, but it is their sculptural installation Rigor Motors that perhaps perfectly melds each artist's preoc- cupations. Ochoa's interest in industrial design and the repurposing of industrial objects and machinery meets Rios's interest in insecurity and peril in Rigor Motors, two coffins customized with speaker-box fabric, car jacks, and actual coffin handles. Referencing everything from African fantasy coffins to surrealism and the more recent perverse industrial design of Atelier Van Lieshout, these sculptures play out both the utopian and dystopian facets of design. 213 RUBEN OCHOA AND MARCO RIOS Ruben Ochoa and Marco Rios, Rigor Motors, 2004 –6, digital photocomposite

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