Artists' Television Access

“I’m Not an Oppressed Person, But I Play One in the Media”

Friday, April 4, 2014, 7:30 pm, $7-$10

FRED edRecent video and performance work by Fred Alvarado Artist in person

Video art and documentation of works and actions that Fred Alvarado has performed. Cinematically powerful in their sound and image composition, these videos do more than simply report what occurred. Fred will also do a performance and have a conversation with the audience. From East Oakland to Lebanon to Gaza; from his childhood inner-city school of hard knocks to an MFA in a cutting-edge art school program, Fred Alvarado navigates the world on a thread thatʼs free of irony. This program of videos and performances is connected by the poetics of Alvaradoʼs words, imagery, and gestures: a chalk line on the streets of Lebanon, a pilgrimage to the convenience store made by walking on his knees, a multimedia art project with people in Gaza…

This homey uses everything from a graffiti marker to a stream of words to lay out a path of healing. Itʼs accurate to say that his works are more acts of *Being* than “interventions” or “performances.” They are better described as the use of art to offer oneʼs presence to the world with the utmost generosity. This work is graced by his eye for composition, honed by years of visual art practice, and his conscious socialness. The videosʼ unique visual qualities mesh perfectly with the meaning threading through them. Thereʼs always something wound around the timeline: text running along the bottom and layering up, a chalk line drawn on the ground, a train intervening and washing the moment past, a stream of traffic flowing around Alvaradoʼs tragicomic kneeling figure crawling along a sidewalk. The videos document actions using imagery to record the traces, and sound to portray the setting. No explanation is needed– it doesnʼt take more than a minute into these videos to realize that however quirky it seems, Alvarado is spelling out the intensity of each situation with great precision.

Fred Alvarado lives and works in Oakland, California. His work centers on community activism through collaborative, interdisciplinary art projects that investigate “potential.” He has worked with communities in Palestine, Peru, Cuba, Lebanon, Mexico, and Poland. Alvarado teaches at various schools and community centers in the Bay Area. He is currently working on a comic book, “Memory Trace,” documenting the community with senior citizens at the San Antonio Fruitvale Senior Center. Funded by the City of Oakland Cultural Arts Individual Artist Grant program, “Memory Trace” is due for release in September 2014.

This program is part of a series on Systems-Power-Identity, curated by Claire Bain.

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