/ Exhibition place
As a transmission and sound artist, Martín Rodríguez’s work emerges from his Chicanx upbringing along the Arizona-Mexico border. He employs performance, intervention, and installation as a process for deciphering aural histories and intertwined identities. After recovering from a surgery to remove a brain tumor, a chance encounter with a radio transmission caught in the pickup coils of his guitar transformed Rodríguez and his artistic process. Developing his practice from crisis, he examines radio as a transformative medium. Rooting his relationship with radio in healing, his artworks consider the manner at which sound and perceived sound can act as a vessel for affective transmissions. This interconnection engages radio’s ability to embody presence through space and time, allowing one to engage with sound through our corporeal and mental environment. Notably, his work has been presented by the Musée d’art contemporain Montréal, the Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo in México, the Darling Foundry in Montréal, the Walking Festival of Sound and Spektrum in Germany.
Approach and works on display
El Mariachi perdido (2023)
El Mariachi perdido is a wandering musical and sonic performance inspired by the Mariachi and Banda culture of Mexico, performed by the artist Martín Rodríguez with three musicians. This spontaneous and joyous performance will use the resonance of the underground city serenading the public with bright horns, crooning vocals, and dancing percussion alongside the palmarès of Montreal radio. The title and project are derived from a classic Mariachi song El Niño Perdido. In this song, one trumpeter hides while another trumpeter plays a melodic phrase with the band. The “hidden” trumpeter then responds with the same melody. This call and response continues and slowly the two trumpeters are brought together. Influenced by this form of poetic wandering, the artist will work with the musicians to develop the arrangements for this type of in situ public performance as well as lead them through the underground city maze.