• Beatriz Cortez and Rafa Esparza

      By

      Did you know that PST isn’t quite over? A few shows remain. If you missed key offerings, your best redress might be at Commonwealth & Council, whose main gallery Beatriz Cortez and Rafa Esparza have metamorphosed into a futurological forum for meditation on Latino culture and postcolonial identity. The show’s Spanish title, “Pasado mañana,” means “day after tomorrow.” Having built on their collaboration at UCR’s “Mundos Alternos,” Cortez and Esparza here imagine an idealistic future rooted in Mayan history. This installation’s environment is invitingly bizarre, with quotidian items emanating singularity. Appearing as a steel capsule for time travel, Cortez’s centerpiece sculpture, Argonaut (after Pakal) (2018), evokes Mesoamerican mats and the sarcophagus lid of Pakal, the longest-ruling Mayan king. In vases and a makeshift greenhouse replete with hydroponic plants, water lilies symbolize Pakal’s headdress iconography as well as immigrant agriculture and gardening. On the floor, Esparza’s packed dirt and tan adobe chunks accentuate the whiteness of gallery walls and the brightness of sculptures suspended from the ceiling and resting on earthen substrate. To complete their collaborative vision of hereafter, the headlining duo invited six young queer artists to contribute works: Fabián Guerrero, Sebastián Hernández, María Maea, Rubén Rodríguez, Gabriela Ruiz, and Brenzy Solorzano. Ruiz’s Reflexión (2018, above left) is an acrid yellow dresser and chair coated in spray foam. Nearby, Maea’s piece (above right) features human faces hanging from a floating orange tree branch. As the Getty’s initiative winds down, this installation brims with possibilities.

       

      Commonwealth & Council
      3006 W. 7th St., Ste. 200
      Los Angeles, CA 90005
      Show runs through Mar. 3

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