Oscar Tuazon, installation view at Luhring Augustine, 2018. © Oscar Tuazon; Courtesy of the artist, Luhring Augustine, New York, Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris, and Eva Presenhuber, Zürich, New York.
Tuazon identifies primarily as a sculptor, though his practice occupies a position between architecture and activism. One of Tuazon’s most ambitious projects is an architectural installation entitled Zome Alloy, a hollowed wooden structure consisting of eleven traversable polyhedral units, or zomes. The installation is modeled after the “Zome Home,” a solar powered house in Albuquerque, New Mexico designed by innovators Steve and Holly Baer. After its public presentation during Art Basel 2016 in the city’s Messeplatz, Tuazon’s Zome Alloy was broken up into clusters and installed at various locations in the United States. Three zomes have been erected outdoors in Los Angeles, where they function as the artist’s studio, and two zomes are currently being installed in Minnesota at an active protest site against a proposed oil pipeline.
Tuazon refers to each zome installation as a “water school,” as the structure becomes a hub for discussion and education about the environment in which it is located. His studio is the Los Angeles Water School, or LAWS; the Minnesota site is Winona’s Water School, in honor of activist Winona LaDuke. Tuazon is planning an additional permanent, public water school in Cedar Spring, Nevada to bring art and awareness to a remote and ecologically fraught region, where the water that has served the community and environment for thousands of years is at risk of being siphoned through a pipeline to serve more commercial areas. Tuazon is an unwavering advocate for the preservation of environmental resources, including clean and sustainable water sources, his interests internalized in his recent work both in subject matter, as well as in the fluid conception of forms and sites.
Related Global Goals: 6, 7, 9, 11, 12, 13, and 15.