Obra Necesaria, or necessary labo, was a site-specific four-channel sound and video installation documenting a continuous sweeping of the row house by Jamie Robertson.

The monitors, which are placed at four different ends of the house, serve as channels through which the sustained sound of sweeping is briefly made visible. Although the sweeping is always present through image or sound, it is trapped within the realm of aesthetics, and nothing is ever swept.

It is a senseless act of repetition—a quiet invocation that calls for the liberation of the image into action. There is a relationship here between action or “gesture” as theorized by Giorgio Agamben and a notion of time that is not progressive or suspended. Images are the reification and obliteration of a gesture.

When Jamie repetitively maps the row house with her sweeping, she is not exercising a "doing" that will lead to an end. The end is lost beforehand, rather such a gesture occupies a space “in-between” that breaks the false dichotomy between means and ends.

Here, the isolated sweeping functions as an inoperative sign that insists upon itself and through which use value and a referent cease to exist. The repeated and almost meaningless act establishes yet another meaning, that of its own communicability, where the operability of the acts are enacted in a now without a notion of distance, nor sight, nor progress, nor impact.

Those who sweep and what is swept remain trapped in continual suspension and relapse devoid of narrative, in the ambiguities between a slumbering potentiality and a frustrating sense of deja-vu.

Obra Necesaria was first presented at Project Row Houses in Houston, Texas, as a part of Round 51: Local Impact II curated by Ryan Dennis.

"obra necessaria"

junior fernandez

ig (at)

jfda1501 (at) gmail.com

Junior Fernandez (b.1996) interdisciplinary practice inhabits and critiques the
convergence of politics and queer engagement with the built environment.

Rooted in the idea that the landscape is an expression of dominant political power, Fernandez looks for tactics of subversion through the unfolding of slippages between actuality and projection (what is and what could be) to undermine consolidated systems and flip
historical narratives.

Work has been supported by The Idea Fund, Houston (2020); DiverseWorks,
Houston (2019); The Blaffer Art Museum, Houston (2019);  Fowler-Kellogg Arts
Center, Chautauqua (2019); Flatland Gallery, Houston (2019); Sabine Street
Studios, Houston (2019); and the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (2019).

Fernandez was born in La Habana (con ‘b’ alta), Cuba, studied at the Visual Arts
Chautauqua Institution (VACI) in New York and received a BFA in Photography and
Digital Media at the University of Houston. He is currently the Digital Imaging Specialist at the International Center for the Arts of the Americas at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

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