Beatriz Cortez, Residency September to December 2022
Photos: Louis Ramac - Luca Lomazzi - Adrianna Glaviano
Beatriz Cortez (b. 1970), San Salvador, El Salvador; lives and works in Los Angeles.
Beatriz Cortez’s works dream of a different future but remain firmly rooted in the past.
Simultaneously holding two different frames of reference comes easily to Cortez, who immigrated to the United States from El Salvador at the age of eightee. She remains oriented to both countries, and her work examines the historical and contemporary routes of cultural, commercial, and human exchange that occur along the axis connecting sites within the Americas.
For the past several years, Cortez worked primarily with sculpture, building machines that bring together different histories, acknowledge global and cosmic nomadism, and imagine the potential for divergent
entities to coexist.
In the space of the Atelier Calder, she will create a large-scale sculpture composed of steel tubes, cut and reassembled, giving the impression of an easily malleable material.
This result, Beatriz Cortez obtained only by an experimental practice, testing the limits of the material, testifying to a continuous artistic experimentation.
For her residency project at Atelier Calder, Beatriz Cortez will create a monumental work, representing an imaginary construction of the Ilopango Volcano located in El Salvador, about fifteen kilometers from the capital El Savador, whose violent eruption occurred between the fifth and sixth centuries, is the origin of the phenomenon called "Tierra Blanca Joven".
This catastrophe took place when the Mayan civilization was flourishing in Central America.
This project is part of a larger collective project, involving scientists and artists, who will reconstruct the path of the particles of the Ilopango Volcano from El Salvador to the Arctic Circle, where particles of the volcano have been located.
Part of the project is to make the work of Beatriz Cortez produced at the Atelier Calder travel through different landscapes and continents. This work is also inspired by the glaciers, which are now melting and will become a liquid element again, joining the rivers and seas.
More broadly, Beatriz Cortez's work addresses notions of memory, movement and migration. She considers memory as part of a process of transformation, of movement, of becoming other. Thus she constructs memory in order to imagine possible futures.
Beatriz Cortez received an MFA in Art from the California Institute of the Arts and a Ph.D. in Literature and Cultural Studies from Arizona State University. Cortez’s work explores simultaneity, life in different temporalities and different versions of modernity, particularly in relation to memory and loss in the aftermath of war and the experience of migration, and in relation to imagining possible futures. She has had solo exhibitions at the Craft Contemporary Museum, Los Angeles (2019); Clockshop, Los Angeles (2018); Vincent Price Art Museum, Los Angeles (2016); Monte Vista Projects,
Los Angeles (2016); Centro Cultural de España de El Salvador (2014); and Museo Municipal Tecleño (MUTE), El Salvador (2012), among others. She has participated in numerous group exhibitions, including at the Henry Art Gallery, Seattle (2019);
Ballroom Marfa, TX (2019); Tina Kim Gallery, New York (2018); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2018); BANK/MABSOCIETY, Shanghai, China (2017); Ballroom Marfa, Marfa, Texas (2017); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2017); Centro Cultural
Metropolitano, Quito, Ecuador (2016); and Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (2016). Cortez is the recipient of the Artadia Los Angeles Award (2020), the inaugural Frieze LIFEWTR Sculpture Prize (2019), the Emergency Grant from the Foundation of Contemporary Arts (2019), the Rema Hort Mann Foundation Emerging Artist Grant (2018), the Artist Community Engagement Grant (2017), and the California Community Foundation Fellowship for Visual Artists (2016). She teaches in the Department of Central American and Transborder Studies at California State University, Northridge.
Beatriz Cortez is represented by Commonwealth and Council, Los Angeles.
Photos Guillaume Blanc