Adrian Cornejo is a Queer, Disabled, Agender Mexican artist based in Tucson, AZ. They received their BFA and MFA from the Southwest University of Visual Arts (SUVA). Adrian's work is driven by a desire to investigate relationships as a concept in order to better understand their own roles and responsibilities within the various interactions they have in their life. As conceptual art, their work takes many forms and can consist of a wide variety of mediums, from charcoal in jars of hand sanitizer to paintings in oil on canvas to sheets of plastic hung from the ceiling in an empty room. Adrian employs a minimal, abstract, and often monochromatic aesthetic in creating their work as an effort to present austere objects that prompt investigation and lead viewers to come to an organic understanding of the concepts presented.
A cleanroom is a specialized environment used in the production of sensitive hardware and for scientific research. They are designed to keep airborne particles at an extremely low level so to not interfere with any manufacturing processes. My interest in cleanrooms began when lockdown/quarantine/social distancing directives were being executed in America due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Though a cleanroom may not necessarily be a sterile space, free of microbes, it became a visual representation of the exaggerated conclusions my anxiety led me to, of me living in a clean room out of fear of becoming sick. A cleanroom represents, for me, an extreme form of isolation. A space, within a room, within a building, keeping away all of outside.
To enforce this, “Clean Room” was created as a ceiling to floor column with only 4 square feet of area in which to stand. It appears as a column and indeed functions as a sort of support structure, albeit for emotional means. However, within this space lies a duality inherent to a cleanroom and isolation as a concept: this is a fragile state and requires much effort to maintain. One cannot stray from the standards required to maintain these environments. Its constricting. You become trapped. Making this piece was a way for me to confront my own paranoia about contracting COVID-19 as well as a means of coping with quarantine directives. Perhaps this piece can do the same for someone else.