Long before the current administration’s ascendancy, the wheels had been turning in favor of hostile mechanisms of control. The blatant aggression and fascist broism of the present, however, have thrown into stark relief how identity and the gaze of another can be weaponized and internalized. Mark Verabioff’s practice is borne of the conjoined dynamics of identity and imaging and proposes self-definition as a position of resistance that can challenge cultural and political power structures. Existing at the intersection of autobiography and community, Poolside Drive-by is the mapping of an internal topography that tells us much about the artist’s choices and frames of reference, but also describes the kind of world in which he finds himself. Vulnerable, humorous, both reverent and irreverant, the work is grounded in Verabioff’s appropriative processing of cultural products and pushes against strictures of authorship, authority, and objectification. The show’s title, Poolside Drive-by, juxtaposes positions of blithe passivity and ruthless retaliation; when they go low, kick ‘em while they’re down.
Pooside Drive-by is on view through February 10 @ Team (bungalow) 306 Windward Avenue Venice, CA 90291. Image courtesy of the artist and team (bungalow). Photo: Jeff McLane.