Oli Rodriguez’s “Papi Project” is an interdisciplinary project including 3D photographic sculptures, video, photography and performance. The project vacillates between exploring the effect of technology on gay/queer hook up culture as well as a simultaneous conceptualization of generational loss.
The landscape photography investigates locations of previous cruising spaces. With the internet made accessible to the public in 1993 and the concurrent generational loss of queer/gay men to the AIDS epidemic, these locations of cruising were symptomatically reduced then lost. Thus, this project spans the years from 197893, roughly the era of the AIDS epidemic in America.
The video component initiates collaboration with men that have survived the epidemic. “I seek out men who had sexual relations with my Papi (dad) and ask them to have any mediated contact with their consent. These men have full documentative power (videoing us), as well as full power of dictating our interaction.
The portrait photography functions as archival art, which depict the queer nuclear family. The 3D sculptures appropriate from the archive of portrait photographs, reviving these documented historical moments into a fragmented physical contemporary space,” explains Rodriguez.