Oscar Murillo: Distribution Center

The Mistake Room, Los Angeles, United States
18 Jan 2014 - 12 Apr 2014

Oscar Murillo: Distribution Center

Oscar Murillo: Distribution Center, Installation view at The Mistake Room, Los Angeles CA, Photo credit: Josh White / JW Pictures

The Mistake Room inaugurates its program with an ambitious, newly commissioned, large-scale project by Colombia-born, London-based artist Oscar Murillo (b. 1986, Colombia).

Titled Distribution Center, Murillo’s project for The Mistake Room approaches the site of its presentation as a physical and conceptual structure through which making is explored-as a practice and a form of work; as a process within and beyond aesthetics; and as a means of living.

Using the 4,500 square foot former industrial warehouse that is now the organization’s home as a work site over the span of a series of residency periods in Los Angeles, Murillo processed large amounts of materials that in recent years have come to anchor the visual language of his broader practice. Paper, canvases, wood, metals and other collected matter were treated through multiple processes of production-made susceptible to the environment of the unaltered warehouse; allowed to saturate with paint, pigment, dirt and other debris; cut and assembled into volumetric compositions; and utilized in their raw state to fabricate seemingly finished high-polish functional elements. Aided at times by local day laborers and collaborating carpenters and construction workers in Tijuana, Mexico, Murillo’s intense work period gave way to a series of objects, both finished and unfinished, that come together in an installation that not only speaks to the possibility of object-hood existing as a complex condition of multiplicity, but that also unveils poignant relationships between art-making and economies driven and sustained by manual labor, industrial manufacturing and mass distribution.

A selection of the artist’s videos, presented as large-scale projections, render labor as visual imagery, further blurring the boundary between aesthetic endeavors and everyday work. As a set of isolated tasks are executed by both bodies and machines, and a workday unfolds across the screen, attention is subtly draw to the embodied social interactions, cultural customs, and ways of living that making-as a chosen practice or economically determined profession-helps concretize across geographies.

Parallel to his exhibition project, Murillo will organize a lottery that builds on previous investigations of commodities and value through social and cultural experiences. A limited number of 50 tickets will be sold for a drawing that will take place near the closing of the show. The three prizes will be works produced on T-shirts–readily available, mass-produced garments, whose status and circulation are here radically transformed.

Oscar Murillo: Distribution Center is organized by The Mistake Room and curated by Cesar Garcia, The Mistake Room’s Founding Director and Chief Curator.

A full-color, illustrated, bilingual publication, edited by Garcia, will be published by MISPRINT Press, an imprint of The Mistake Room, and released at the conclusion of the exhibition. The book will include a host of newly commissioned essays and documentation of Murillo’s project.



Oscar Murillo (b. 1986, Colombia) lives and works in London. He received a BA in Fine Art at the University of Westminster in 2007 and an MA in Painting from the Royal College of Art, London, in 2012. Recent solo exhibitions and projects include if I was to draw a line, this journey started approximately 400km north of the equator, South London Gallery, London (2013); Dinner at the members club? Yes! I’ll have a black Americano first pls,Carlos/Ishikawa, London (2013); Ossie’s Bingo Boutique, MAMA Showroom, Rotterdam (2013); work, Rubell Family Collection, Miami (2012); and The Cleaner’s Late Summer Party with Comme des Garçons, Park Nights, Serpentine Gallery, London (2012) amongst others.

Opening its doors in January 2014, The Mistake Room is Los Angeles’s only independent cultural institution solely devoted to an international program of contemporary art and thought. Guided by the work of practitioners of the imagination from around the globe and informed by the contexts and circumstances that shape the human experience, The Mistake Room has at the core of its mission a single mandate-to generate critical insights into the nature of human creativity and its tangible, responsible and meaningful role in the advancement of humanity. Through academic research, exhibitions, publications, interdisciplinary projects, and a wide-range of public and educational initiatives, The Mistake Room connects Los Angeles to the world-bringing local audiences a program that supports some of the most promising emerging artists and creative makers of our time as well as established figures who have never before exhibited in our city.





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