In his seminal work, “The Society of the Spectacle,” (1968) Debord argued that in pursuit of accumulated wealth, capitalist society aims to alienate us from ourselves and our desires, and that “the spectacle” (mass entertainment, news, and advertising) had replaced the commodity as society’s mechanism to do so. The philosopher predicted that eventually, media would become so pervasive, we would not be able to distinguish between real life and its representation. Amidst a misinformation crisis, a time when we are judged less for the content of our character than of our Instagram feeds, when virtual social networks compromise the integrity of real elections, the works in this exhibition ask us to look again at what we might throw away and shine the neon glow of nostalgia on the past, before the commodity had been replaced by the spectacle, the object by its representation, reality by its virtual equivalent.
In re-appropriated pastiche, Guzman creates resounding layers of meaning within each work in “Detourned.” An ode to organized chaos, this hypnotic artistic language often obscures the viewer’s sense of time and place. The transporting works in this exhibition sentimentally suggest the importance what Debord called “lived time” retrieving our attention from the domain of the spectacle and returning to the world of human interaction. They serve as an omen for contemporary naivete surrounding the future psychological, political, and social consequences of media in the Digital Age. And like a fun house mirror, reflect the distorted image of our own false appetites in real time. In an effort to provoke the audience out of their complacency, with this exhibition, Guzman artistically transcends space and time to bring us something holy: an entirely recycled environment, where each work endeavors to reclaim the realization of dreams and the possibilities of a transformed life from the spiritual vacuum of contemporary capitalist media.