SDSU gallery hosts border artist

by Lilly Glenister , Staff Writer

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it is an opportune time for students to reflect on issues beyond the privileged bubble that is San Diego State. One such venue providing thought-provoking art works perfect for a moment of introspection is the SDSU Downtown Gallery.

On Oct. 23, the SDSU Downtown Gallery welcomed distinguished artist Marcos Ramirez. The artist is known by his pen name ERRE, which is pronounced with the rolled sound of the Spanish digraph “rr.” One of his latest solo exhibitions at the gallery is called “Playing Series Serious”

According to his biography by Luis De Jesus, ERRE has been a self-trained artist in the foreground of borderland cultural practice for more than 20 years. Living and working in both San Diego and Tijuana, he has traveled around the world creating a variety of works, from painting and performance to photography and video. The artist is also widely known for his prolific large-scale installations and sculptures that challenge passive spectators into becoming active participants.

“Playing Series Serious” at the SDSU Downtown Gallery features 17 wall pieces, and one standalone sculpture called “The Bottlefield” is the centerpiece of the gallery’s open floor plan. “The Bottlefield” is a large-scale chessboard with an assortment of American and Latino liquors as the chessmen, focusing on breaking down cultural barriers. This exhibition, however, does more than just strum up conversation about cross-border conflicts, which ERRE has also garnered much attention from doing.

The two-dimensional wall pieces are a range of puzzles, including crosswords, mazes, word search and Sudoku, which interrogates language and text in order to look at the world and its many issues. Viewers have the unique chance to actually get involved with the art itself by taking time to solve and analyze ERRE’s puzzles.

The exhibition is free to the public and will also have a participatory performance with the artist’s sculpture “The Bottlefield” at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 4. The SDSU Downtown Gallery, located in downtown San Diego on the corner of Broadway and Kettner Boulevard, will have ERRE’s “Playing Series Serious” exhibition on view until Jan. 26, 2015.