Born in Los Angeles, California
BA degree: University of Arizona
MFA degree: The School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Louis Hock’s artwork – films, video tapes, and media installations – have been exhibited in solo shows at numerous national and international art institutions including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
In 1986 Hock completed a four part, four-hour video about the life and times of a community of undocumented Mexican workers in southern California, THE MEXICAN TAPES: A Chronicle of Life Outside the Law. The series was broadcast internationally on the PBS in the U.S., BBC in the U.K., and Televisa in Latin America. The same four families featured in that work were again visited 30 years later to create the American Tapes: Tales of Immigration in 2013. The four part, four hour video was shown internationally in museums and festivals, including touring with the Ambulante Festival in Mexico in 2014.
In 1997 Hock also completed a feature-length film, La Mera Frontera. The documentary work, twisted with fiction, offers a contemporary portrait of Nogales, Arizona and Sonora through the lens of the 1918 border battle between the U.S. and Mexico.
Along with various collaborators, including Elizabeth Sisco and David Avalos, Hock has also produced eight public art media events including Welcome to America’s Finest Tourist Plantation (1988) and Arte Reembolso / Art Rebate (1993). The later has been transformed into three media installations, one for the Puerto Rico Triennial (2004-5), another for the “Work Ethic” traveling exhibition that concluded at the Wexner Center in Ohio (2004) and a third for The Museo Del Barrio in New York City (2008) that traveled to Mexican museums. Wall representations of Art Rebate have also been exhibited Schroeder-Romero Gallery (2006, New York City) and the Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes (2011, Mexico City).
Gallery shows include installations at La Panaderia in Mexico City (Pirámide del Sol, 2002), photographs in The International Center of Photography’s traveling exhibition and web exhibition, “Only Skin Deep” (Nightscope Series, 2003-6), a one person exhibition at the University Art Museum in Long Beach (Pirámide del Sol, American Desert, & Shelter, 2006), a cine- mural screening of Southern California at the Getty and Martin-Gropius Bau as part of the “Pacific Standard Time” exhibition (2011). In 2011, Hock also installed a permanent public artwork at the Bradley International terminal of LAX, Homeland.
Hock screened two of his films, Studies in Chronovision and Silent Reversal at the Smithsonian in 2015. That same year he exhibited The Nightscope Series at the Balie in Amsterdam, the Neuberger Museum in Purchase, NY, and Human Resources Gallery in Los Angeles.
In 2016 Hock exhibited two works – Southern California and a wall – at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego in two separate shows. a wall, along with Heat: a digimural, shown at Helmuth Projects in San Diego, were new work. In the fall of 2017 a new work titled Brick was installed at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tucson as a component in the “Declare: Transnational Narratives exhibition”. The 1988 Welcome to Americans Finest Tourist Plantation artwork was included in the Los Angeles Arts and Craft Museum’s contribution to the Getty sponsored “Pacific Standard Time LA/LA’ in 2017.
Recently, the Welcome to America’s Finest Tourist Plantation? 1988 bus poster (w/ Sisco & Avalos) was shown as part of the “The U.S.-Mexico Border: Place, Imagination, and Possibility”, a Getty sponsored exhibition, traveling to in Lille, France as part of “ELDORADO” exhibition Lillie 3000 (2019) and in “Printing the Revolution! The Rise and Impact of Chicano Graphics. 1965 – Now” at the Smithsonian American Art Museum (2020). In 2021 Luis Camnitzer’s curated the “Ideas for Monuments in Tribute to Heroines and Unsung Heroes” exhibition at Bellas Artes (National Museum of Fine Arts), Buenos Aires, Argentina and included Hock’s Monument to the Unknown Mail Carrier in the virtual exhibition. His recent “COVID time” work, an installation, Otherworld, and short film, North Star, have been exhibited and awarded internationally in 2020 and 2021 at a number of film festivals.
Hock lives and works in Encinitas, California and is a Professor Emeritus of the University of California, San Diego Visual Arts Department.