September 3 - October 8, 2016

Opening: Saturday, September 3, 6-9pm




“Throughout Pescador’s wide-ranging practice—which includes photography, film and video, performance, collage, and writing, to mention a few—bodies and objects are often placed tightly within the frame. We are faced with a closeness in which the artist discloses and perhaps breaks down the boundaries between his inner-life and his physical apprehension of the world. Closeness for Pescador carries multiple meanings, from the touch of an object to the intimacy of a sexual encounter, each one remembered through its minuscule components, a collapse of the haptic and the affective that allows for recognition of our own ways of experiencing and remembering.” - Ivan Ramos, "Everything Becomes Form": Paul Pescador's Crushes and the Shapes of Amorous Memory (2016)


VACANCY is pleased to present Paul Pescador’s solo show, CRUSHES. This exhibition is the final installation of a larger project which encompasses a feature-length experimental film, a photographic series, a set of performances and an unpublished novella. The gallery will play host to Pescador’s photographic body of work, along with a short film shot in the space during its installation. A shower of yellow sticker dots covers the entire space, performing a hi-visibility backdrop for the works.

Closeness in Pescador’s photos encourages a narrative activity through both information surplus and denial. Allowing his camera to get lost in the bodies of objects, his works produce an intimate sense of estrangement. In cinematic form, his photos function as abstract cut-aways from the larger narratives of his films and novella. Often captured spontaneously, we are unsure what is being witnessed or performed, obscured or amplified, displayed or left out. His re-photographed, hand-drawn overlays then cling to the surface of the image, both concealing and illuminating. The prevalence of bargain-counter objects opens up a flat ontology where things and their owners are brought closely together in a celebratory mourning of personal dramas.

It is from inside this estrangement that a sense of thirdness arises, a pickled feeling of comedy on a dark day; in bed, the awkward passages of pleasure. A thirdness arises when he caresses a stuffed sheet, fondles a yam, or nurses a piñata. These objects are certainly stand-ins for human flesh and psyche, but they also exist as tragicomic characters in their own right. Graham Harman talks about thirdness as something that arises when the hidden qualities of objects come into contact. Maybe the best embodiment of this ontology is actually sex, during which thirdness is a necessary goal, passion and mess an allied effort. Afterwards, the thirdness lingers; a consensual wraith that haunts your phone, your car, your skin. For Pescador, thirdness is also comedy incarnate. It is pain when you’re distant, awkward when you’re close, and comedy when you stare at it directly in the face. It becomes embedded in these fleeting objects and relationships that surround Pescador; in a ketchup packet, a date, a dodgy movement or even a balloon. His works embody a tricky kind of abstract emotional baggage: the banality of being hung up on something, chased by its all consuming sparkle.


Paul Pescador received an MFA from the University of California at Irvine in 2012, and a BA from USC. Recent exhibitions, projects, and screenings include: PSSST, Los Angeles (2016); Ashes/Ashes, Los Angeles (2016); Park View, Los Angeles (2014); Anthony Greaney, Boston (2013); the Vista Theater, Los Angeles (2012); and Human Resources, Los Angeles (2011). Recent performances include: (2016); Los Angeles Contemporary Archives (2016); Performa 2015; Colony, New York (2015); metro pcs (2015); UC Berkeley: Durham Studio Theater (2015); PAM, Los Angeles (2015); Sweety’s, Boston (2014); Hammer Museum, with KCHUNG TV, Los Angeles (2014); REDCAT, Los Angeles (2014); Guggenheim Gallery at Chapman University, Los Angeles (2012); and ForYourArt, Los Angeles (2012).


Ivan Ramos, "Everything Becomes Form": Paul Pescador's Crushes and the Shapes of Amorous Memory (2016)  full text


List of works