Jason Rhoades, who lived and worked in Los Angeles up until his death in 2006, created amazing, over-the-top, often overwhelming, generally disorienting installations. Using neon, plastic buckets, power tools, snaking wires, figurines, sound and other odds and ends Rhoades created work that is engaging, witty and visually spectacular.
Known as “scatter art,” Rhoades’ environments combine a multiplicity of ideas. In works like The Creation Myth, originally installed in 1998, and now re-created for his retrospective at the ICA in Philadelphia, Rhoades created sculptural forms representing how humanity processes information, forms memories and produces things like art. The work often contains biographical, sexual and sometimes outright vulgar elements that require a viewer’s patience and open-mindedness. Seemingly arbitrary, each artifact has its purpose within Rhoades’ installations.
Overloading a viewer with information and visual content replete with metaphors and symbols, Rhoades purposefully creates his installations to avoid finite conclusions. In many ways Rhoades’ works mirror human thought—they layer information and content in seemingly incoherent ways forming multiple, usually incomplete notions and assumptions.
Rhoades’ retrospective will be on view at the Philadelphia ICA through December 29.