Countdown to 20 years with Clockshop! Support our programs this giving season.

the underpinning

Opening Reception; the underpinning

Free and open to the public $5 Suggested Donation

the underpinning

Opening Reception; the underpinning

Free and open to the public $5 Suggested Donation



December 9, 2023


Los Angeles State Historic Park

1245 N Spring St.

Los Angeles, CA 90012




Please join us for an opening reception of Rodrigo Valenzuela’s commission, the underpinning, at Los Angeles State Historic Park. The artist will be joined in conversation by architect and historian Manuel Shvartzberg Carrió to reveal Valenzuela’s processes in making the work that references the architectural aesthetics and histories of built environments from his childhood in Chile to his current residence in Los Angeles. The reception is free and open to the public with light refreshments provided. RSVP Below.

Saturday, December 9, 2023
2:00–4:00 PM
Los Angeles State Historic Park

the underpinning,
a Clockshop public art commission by artist Rodrigo Valenzuela, serves as both a sculptural installation and a stage for public programming in Los Angeles State Historic Park. Mimicking the foundation of a home, this structure is informed by the standardized government housing of the artist’s childhood in Chile and the site’s proximity to William Mead Homes, a city-operated public housing project. Situated on contested public land that serves immigrant and working-class neighborhoods, the underpinning reflects on the precarity of home while contemplating modularity and possibility in its construction. With multiple viewing and entry points, the installation renders indistinguishable the interiority and exteriority of a home to disrupt the distinctions between public and private property, and modes of ownership. Valenzuela demarcates a territory undefined by linear time or spatial designation for the viewer’s interpretation of home and belonging. the underpinning interrogates the social aspects of our built environments through programming that traces architectural histories of the working class and examines contemporary tensions between affordable housing and public, green space in Los Angeles.


Rodrigo Valenzuela (b. Santiago, Chile 1982) lives and works in Los Angeles, CA, where he is an associate professor and heads the Photography Area in the Department of Art at UCLA. He works across photography, video, painting, and installation at the intersection of art history and architecture. Valenzuela examines his own relationships to labor and working-class identities, and excavates narratives built within the tensions of social cohesion between the individual and communities. Valenzuela has been awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship in Photography and Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptors Grant, Art Matters Foundation Grant, and Artist Trust Arts Innovators Award. He recently exhibited at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art and Asya Geisberg Gallery.

Manuel Shvartzberg Carrió is the Assistant Professor in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at UC San Diego—on unceded Kumeyaay land—where he is also co-director of the Just Transitions Initiative, member of the Indigenous Futures Institute, and faculty in the Design Lab. An architect and architectural historian, he researches how design mediates regimes of racial capitalism and processes of decolonization. He holds a PhD in Architecture from Columbia University, a Master’s in Aesthetics and Politics from CalArts, and a Bachelor’s degree and MA from The Bartlett at UCL. Previously, he was the Assistant Professor in the History of Architecture and Urban Development Program at Cornell University. As a practicing architect, he worked for OMA/Rem Koolhaas in Rotterdam, with Barozzi/Veiga in Barcelona, and was project architect for David Chipperfield Architects in London. He is a 2023 Graham Foundation grant awardee and is currently a Fellow at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles.

Arrival: Los Angeles State Historic Park is located at 1245 N Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90012, directly adjacent to Chinatown and the Metro Gold Line. The reception will take place at the Roundhouse Bridge in the center of the main lawn. The park is located just 1 mile away from Los Angeles Union Station, making it accessible from several Metro routes. We highly recommend using public transportation, rideshare, biking, or carpooling. 

Parking options: There is paid parking at 1501 N Spring Street, the main parking lot of the park, at $2/hour, up to $8 daily. The park will open the dirt overflow parking lot directly in front of the main parking lot which is free and first come, first served. There is also free street parking around the park. Please avoid parking near residential homes on the east side of Main Street and give yourself plenty of time to park and walk over!

Restrooms: There are several all-gender public restrooms and portapotties on site.

the underpinning was commissioned by Clockshop and supported through our long-standing partnership with California State Parks. The production of this work was generously supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, the California Arts Council, and the Pasadena Arts Alliance, with additional support from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture, and Clockshop’s generous community of supporters.