New York

Wes Larios, Acknowledgements (detail), 2018, vinyl text. Installation view. Photo: Mark Waldhauser.

“A new job to unwork at”

PARTICIPANT INC

Wes Larios, Acknowledgements (detail), 2018, vinyl text. Installation view. Photo: Mark Waldhauser.

When Maria Gómez Chávez struck out on her own, her only option for getting by was to marry a man—and over the years, she kept getting married again and again to support her family. Wes Larios, her grandson, understands that he has the privilege of being an artist today because of her economic pragmatism. As part of the group exhibition “A new job to unwork at,” Larios’s text-and-photo installation Acknowledgements,2018, paid homage to his grandmother’s largely unseen labor and myriad sacrifices: Her name and the names of her consecutive husbands and their children, along with their birth dates and years of death, were pasted in black vinyl letters throughout Participant Inc, including on an office air duct and at the top of a stairwell. 

Acknowledgements was sneaky: One had to actively look for it among the more corporeal pieces. But it was also one of the most poignant works

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