Sikkema Jenkins & Co. is pleased to present William Cordova’s second solo show with the gallery, entitled yawar mallku: temporal landscapes. Cordova has produced a series of works that focus on reframing history – making the invisible visible through the prism of art.
Utilizing drawing, photography, and sculpture, Cordova creates parallels between the Diasporas of the Americans through the language and visual forms of abstraction. The work temporal landscapes (pa’ y.mishima, e.danticat y t.martin) is influenced by the Land Art movement of the 1960s and early 1970s. It references Land Art’s resistance to the logic of consumerist art and the interest in reconnecting to ancient geometric principals and the pragmatic use of materials.
The notion of translation is key in Cordova’s work. The shifting from English, Quechua, Spanish, and even Creole in his titles parallels the shifts, turns and cuts made in his constructions. References similarly have an impact on the blur of original meanings with the creation of new meanings.
temporal landscapes (pa’ y.mishima, e.danticat y t.martin) consists of a makeshift mini-screening room assembled with reclaimed wood, vinyl record monologue, and slide projector with an image that references architecture, spirituality, the magical, science fiction, textiles and modernism found within African, Andean, and Asian Diasporas. These threads evoke meditative qualities that speak to the complexity of a trans-cultural phenomenon, more often common than different, that we all share in one capacity or another. In doing so Cordova ultimately achieves an amalgamation while apparently moving through seemingly disjunctive references. And what better location for the fusion of time, space, history, memory, and fiction than the narrative platform of science fiction – not only in its Hollywood representation, but also in the conceptualization of Afro-Futurism in Sun Ra’s film Space Is the Place (1972), which uses science fiction as a symbol of resistance; or with the quotation from the science fiction writer H. G. Wells, “Human history is in essence a history of ideas” - both inspirations for the artist.
The wood used in the sculpture comes from The Philippines, Peru, Brazil, Puerto Rico and Ghana so as to refer to the geographical locations of various Diasporas.
The exhibition will also include ephemeral sculptures, Polaroid diptychs and untitled (repositories), a suite of drawings that explores the overlapping of resistance movements, landscape and dislocation, from both the past and the present tenses, exploring the psychological and (often overlooked) context of imagination.
A published essay by artist/designer Ernesto Oroza on William Cordova's practice will accompany the exhibition.
William Cordova – born in Lima, Peru – lives and works in Lima, Miami and New York. He graduated with a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1996 and went on to earn an MFA from Yale University in 2004. Recent solo exhibitions of his work include smoke signals: viviendo pa’ la ciudad at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco (2012) and yawar mallku (royalty, abduction & exile) at La Conservera in Murcia, Spain (2011), his first solo exhibition in Europe. His work is in such public collections as the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Yale Art Gallery, New Haven; Museo de Arte de Lima; Ellipse Foundation, Cascais, Portugal; Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami; and La Casa de las Americas, Havana, Cuba; among others. He has held numerous residencies and is currently a fellow at the American Academy in Berlin.