Eddie Aparicio’s recent work and research has focused on the various connections between Central America and Los Angeles. For Aparicio, focusing on multiple sites as a part of the same community and history is a crucial de-colonizing strategy and problematizes the term native. His work addresses immigration by default, pointing more towards the possibilities of an expanded understanding of identity and place making. Aparicio utilizes formal strategies within a primarily materialist practice because environmental justice is inextricably linked to social justice. In allowing material to be a collaborator in the works, he acknowledges it as a part of its own narrative.
For the exhibition, he has embarked on a new series of work stemming from his research on Victorian Wardian cases, an early kind of terrarium used to bring plant specimens back to Europe from colonial voyages. These glass cases allowed plants to survive the sea voyages by allowing for sunlight, providing moisture with condensation, while protecting them from other harsher elements. Wardian cases developed to be beautiful, decorative objects, particularly during the fern craze, but at sea were largely utilitarian and made from glass, wood, and canvas. Aparicio trains a critical eye on the Wardian case and its role as a vehicle of colonization. As a container for “invasive species”, the Wardian case evokes past and present forced removals and detention, rhetorics of contamination and exoticism.
Eddie Aparicio was born in Los Angeles in 1990. He received an MFA in Painting and Printmaking from Yale University in 2016, a BA in Studio Arts from Bard College in 2012 and has also attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and the Southern California Institute of Architecture. His recent works address the intersection of social and environmental justice through specific use of material, sound, and multiplicity of site. He uses materials that have a strong tie to pre-hispanic cultures in Central America to document Central American communities in Los Angeles. He has exhibited at Paramo Galeria, The Mistake Room, Steve Turner Gallery, Zona Maco, and Anonymous gallery among others. He has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and the California Community Foundation.