Ramiro Gómez, “Happy Hills”

Ramiro Gómez, "Yoselin and the glass of water"

Thanks to Kinsey Lane Sullivan in PolicyMic for her profile of Ramiro Gómez, a Los Angeles artist and (ex?)nanny whose ongoing project “Happy Hills” is devoted to “documenting the predominantly Hispanic workforce who work tirelessly behind the scenes to maintain the beautiful imagery of these affluent areas.”

Gómez’s technique involves a) installations featuring cardboard cut-outs of otherwise overlooked service workers (leaf-blowers, cleaners, nannies) in public places and so plain sight and b) interventions into images of pristine homes, taken mostly from magazines and adverts (but also occasionally high art) to reinsert the figures of domestic labour that have been erased or marginalized but without whom none of this would exist.

I particularly like this image, “Portrait of an Affluent Family”:

Ramiro Gómez, "Portrait of an Affluent Family"

The funny thing is that, according to a note on Gómez’s Facebook page, so does the man pictured with his family. I’m not entirely sure what we can gather from that.

3 thoughts on “Ramiro Gómez, “Happy Hills”

  1. “The funny thing is that, according to a note on Gómez’s Facebook page, so does the man pictured with his family. I’m not entirely sure what we can gather from that.”
    Perhaps we might conclude from this that the meaning of a text, art work, or utterance is never wholly reducible to the intention of its author or the material conditions of its production/reception; meaning is, in short, ‘undecidable’, in the sense in which Derrida employs this term in -Limited Inc.-. After all, for all its critical intent, this kind of installation could equally be interpreted as an updated version of a typical society painting, in which a wealthy personage is featured surrounded by the accoutrements of his (typically) wealth and power, domestic servants included.
    J.

  2. “this kind of installation could equally be interpreted as an updated version of a typical society painting, in which a wealthy personage is featured surrounded by the accoutrements of his (typically) wealth and power, domestic servants included.”

    Yes, I like this..

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