April 11, 2022

Pato Hebert

Pitzer College Art Galleries

Pato Hebert, 3/12/21, Pulmonary Function Lab, from "No Silver Linings (Long Hauling)," 2020–21. Nickel-plated surgical mask from COVID-related doctor's appointment.

Pato Hebert, No Silver Linings (Long Hauling), 2020–21. Nickel-plated surgical masks from COVID-related doctor's appointments. Photo: Ruben Diaz.

Pato Hebert, Untitled, from the series "Lingering," 2020–21. Archival pigment print on silk charmeuse.

Pato Hebert, Untitled, from the series "Lingering," 2020–21. Archival pigment print on silk charmeuse.

View of Pato Hebert: Lingering, Pitzer College, 2022. Photo: Ruben Diaz.

Pato Hebert, Talking in Circles, 2021. Mirrored acrylic.

Pato Hebert, better but not well, 2021. Charred salvaged California live oak and salvaged melted auto parts.

Pato Hebert, Hold Me, from the series "Counter Measures," 2021. Eucalyptus.

Pato Hebert, Pacing, from the series "Counter Measures," 2021. Eucalyptus.

Pato Hebert, tumbao, 2021. Charred Panamá rosewood.

Join us for the closing reception and catalogue launch for Pato Hebert: Lingering at Pitzer College’s Kallick Gallery on Thursday, April 14 from 5:45–8:45pm.

Lingering addresses the COVID-19 condition of long hauling, in which ongoing COVID symptoms persist well after the initial infection. The exhibition confronts ableism and traces the process of living with chronic illness. Long hauling can include the frustrations of seeking treatment for the varied and extensive symptoms of long COVID. But it can also be a site for creativity and resilience. The exhibition and its accompanying catalogue investigate mutual aid and care as vital collective responses to the relentless pandemic.

Pato Hebert: Lingering features four distinct yet interrelated bodies of new photographs, sculptures and text works. The installation No Silver Lining (Long Hauling) is an archive of the disposable surgical masks given to Hebert at his medical appointments during the pandemic. Electroplated in nickel, masks from twenty-six visits to medical specialists and diagnostic testing are displayed in a timeline spanning the gallery walls, reflecting an unfolding narrative of medical needs and an allegory for the relentlessness of long COVID and the pandemic more broadly.

Punctuating his regular visits to medical specialists and healers, ranging from a pulmonologist and infectious disease specialist to a neurologist, gastroenterologist, naturopath, and acupuncturist, Hebert found regular walks in Los Angeles’ Elysian Park integral to his recuperation. During these restorative walks, he utilized his phone to make pictures that have become emblems of the pandemic. The Lingering series emerged from the first 19 months of the pandemic and reflects a landscape that embodies geological, topographical, and epidemiological time, littered with the ephemera of fallen PPE and marked by gestures of protection, affection, care, and pleasure.

Floor-based text works of mirrored gold acrylic, wall-based works of found materials, and a series of wooden spoon sculptures created from a salvaged eucalyptus limb—reclaimed after it had fallen in a storm—give life to the disorientation of living with long COVID. These works speak in and to the pandemic’s recognizable language of variants, surges, and the challenges of flattening the curve, to bodily experiences such as flare-ups, exhaustion, and the need for touch, as well as collective experiences of spoonies (communities sharing the experience of chronic illness) and resilience.

The exhibition catalogue includes essays by curator Ruti Talmor, novelist and scholar Reid Gómez, as well as a conversation between scholar and activist Alexandra Juhasz and the artist Pato Hebert. The catalogue was designed by Brian Welesko and is available for free.

The closing reception and program will feature an introduction by Ciara Ennis, Director of Pitzer College Art Galleries, a roundtable discussion between Hebert, Talmor, Juhasz and collaborating artist Sarah Gilbert, as well as a reading by Gómez. To attend, please RSVP here.

Pato Hebert: Lingering is curated by Associate Professor in Media Studies Ruti Talmor as part of Pitzer College Art Galleries' Faculty-Driven Exhibition series. The exhibition and related events are generously supported by the Mosbacher Fund for Media Studies. Masks are required and guests must complete a health screening before arriving on campus.

Pato Hebert is an artist, teacher and organizer. Hebert’s art explores the aesthetics, ethics and poetics of interconnectedness. He is particularly interested in place and space, spirituality and ecology, and pedagogy and progressive praxis. He works across a wide range of media including photography, sculpture, installation, text, design and performance. His creative projects have been presented at Beton7 in Athens, the Centro de Arte Contemporáneo in Quito, the Ballarat International Foto Biennale and IHLIA LGBT Heritage in Amsterdam. He has long worked in grassroots HIV organizing, primarily with queer communities of color. Hebert is also a COVID-19 long hauler, living with the ongoing impacts of the coronavirus since March of 2020 when he began publicly addressing the pandemic through art, advocacy and community building. He serves as Chair and teaches in the Department of Art & Public Policy at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, where his students have twice nominated him for the David Payne-Carter Award for Teaching Excellence.

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