A video elegy for a fallen icon, a modern martyr, a tragic figure. Erik Rhodes (1982-2012) was an actor in gay pornographic movies who achieved a certain amount of mainstream fame due to his relationship with the designer Marc Jacobs and his involvement in the New York City nightlife and social circles. Rhodes chronicled his depression and descent into drug and steroid abuse through his blogs and YouTube videos. (ERIK) RHODES EX-VOTO takes the remnants of Rhodes’s online presence and allegorizes them through the form of the ex-voto, a form of Catholic religious art given to a saint or martyr in fulfillment of a vow, in gratitude or devotion. A YouTube clip of Rhodes lip-synching to a pop song is repeated and collaged into a slowly spinning circle, an ouroboros, a peyote bulb, or an asshole (choose your poison wisely), as a disembodied voice from pop culture, a processed Gregorian chant intones the prayer “oooooh the reason I hold on… ooooh cuz I need this hole gone” (from a live version of Rihanna’s “Stay”). Behind the spinning faces of Rhodes, severed arms, images of roses in the shape of cum drips and distressing quotes from Rhodes’s blog posts flicker by frantically, paralleling his imagined mental state. Each “animation frame” in this frenzy is its own ex-voto, scanned collages LOZANO created to testify for Rhodes’s martyrdom.


The “frames” for the background in this video are the collages of the (ERIK) RHODES ALTARPIECE.

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