Chultún El Semillero
Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building
900 Jefferson Drive, SW
Dates: November, 2021 – July, 2022
Opening this November, at the historic Arts + Industries Building (AIB), “FUTURES” will explore a myriad of possible futures on the horizon. As its first major commissioning project, AIB will invite five boundary-pushing contemporary artists to create their own speculative future worlds. These major site-specific projects will reflect the milestone occasion and iconic setting, and beguile visitors with a glimpse of the ways in which artists are at the forefront of affecting lasting and positive change.
Artists Beatriz Cortez, Nettrice Gaskins, Soo Sunny Park, Devan Shimoyama, and the duo Tamiko Thiel and /p (Peter Graf) work in such diverse media as augmented reality, artificial intelligence (A.I.), found objects, and industrial materials, blending their creative practices with deep research into technology, science, and community and cultural histories. Each has been asked to respond to both the building’s historic architecture and a particular future themed section of the exhibition. All are making their Smithsonian debut.
Los Angeles-based artist Beatriz Cortez will create a space-time capsule that is both inspired by the stone chultunes that the ancient Maya carved on the ground in what is now the Yucatán region in order to store precious natural and spiritual materials, and by the 20th-century history of space travels.
Cortez imagines her work as a speculative space-time capsule that carries ancestral Indigenous knowledge such as plants, seeds, and ideas towards the future. For Chultún El Semillero (or the seedbed), Cortez will create her chultunes out of welded steel and carve them with a mathematical formula offering directions for the survival of life on Earth. Based on archival research at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, her research and collaboration with Indigenous groups in her native Central America,and NASA’s experiments in growing plants in space, her work will invite us to imagine Indigenous survival in the future, our own active participation in the growth of plants for nourishment, and the idea of communal life. Chultun El Semillero was made at a time of debate about COVID-19 vaccine distribution and will invite visitors to consider who has access to future resources and how they might be distributed.
1984: Space-Time Capsule
Grossman and Anderson Art Galleries at Tufts University
900 Jefferson Drive, SW
Dates: November, 2021 – July, 2022
Art for the Future: Artists Call and Central American Solidarities focuses on the seminal 1980s activist campaign, Artists Call Against US Intervention in Central America. Growing out of the friendships, solidarity networks, and political organizing amongst artists and activists such as Daniel Flores y Ascencio, Lucy Lippard, Doug Ashford, Leon Golub, and Coosje van Bruggen, the campaign resulted in exhibitions, performances, poetry readings, film screenings, concerts, and other cultural and educational events in over 27 cities across the United States and Canada.
The exhibition highlights Artists Call’s history through a selection of activities and works from the 31 exhibitions and over 1,100 artists who participated in New York City including major works from Josely Carvalho, Leon Golub, Hans Haacke, Tim Rollins and KOS, Nancy Spero, Claes Oldenburg, Zarina, Jimmie Durham, and Juan Sanchez, alongside the original edition of the Reconstruction Codex (1984), created by Sabra Moore and nineteen collaborators (including Jaune Quick-To-See Smith, Emma Amos, Camille Billops, Nancy Spero, Virginia Jaramillo, and Helen Oji, among others) well as an expansive collection of Latin Mail Art, including contributions by Lotty Rosenfeld and Edgardo Antonio Vigo, amongst many others. The exhibition also references Artists Call’s legacy today in new forms of inter-American solidarity networks and visual alliances through a selection of works including Benvenuto Chavajay, Sandra Monterroso, Carlos Motta, Muriel Hasbun, Fredman Barahona & Christian Dietkus Lord, Antena Aire, Antonio Serna and new commissions by Beatriz Cortez and Naeem Mohaiemen.
Organized by TUAG Curator Abigail Satinsky and Erina Duganne, Associate Professor of Art History, Texas State University. Major Support provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Institute for Studies on Latin America (ISLAA). Fully illustrated catalogue published by Inventory Press.
Photo above: Beatriz Cortez, No Cages No Jaulas. 2020. Photo: Dee Gonzalez/In Plain Sight.
The Argonaut, after Pakal
Craft Contemporary Museum
5814 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Dates: January 31 – September 12, 2021
Making Time celebrates a selection of L.A.-based artists who have shared their artwork in solo exhibitions at Craft Contemporary over the last ten years. Their iconic works mark time in a variety of ways and showcase the diversity of materials and processes that have made contemporary craft vibrant and relevant. This exhibition is an opportunity to reflect upon the dynamic work of these artists and highlight the impact they have had on the museum’s development over the years.
Exhibition artists: Tanya Aguiñiga, Uzumaki Cepeda, Beatriz Cortez, Keiko Fukazawa, Katherine Gray, Gronk, Sherin Guirguis, Betye Saar, Timothy Washington, and Ann Weber.
This exhibition is supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Department of Arts and Culture and by the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.
The Argonaut, after Pakal, 2018. Steel and lacquer marker. Courtesy of the artist and Commonwealth and Council, Los Angeles. Photo: Ruben Diaz.