The beautifully crafted film Run Up (2015) spares viewers the sight of Charles Valento, a Latino known as “Spanish Charley,” dangling from a tree. But with its images of silent observers exchanging knowing looks, it is nevertheless chilling. A nearby group of still photographs featured scenes from the film restaged as dramatic tableaux.
In a separate room, Gonzales-Day brought his subject up to date in works that insert characters from Run Up into photographs of the protest marches in Los Angeles that followed a grand jury’s refusal to indict Darren Wilson, a white police officer, for fatally shooting Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014. Opening at a moment of nationwide anguish over police brutality, this troubling show juxtaposed past and present, while calling attention to America’s under-documented history of violence against Latinos.
A version of this story originally appeared in the September 2015 issue of ARTnews on page 89.