William Cordova attempts to reconcile themes of displacement and transition through the use of urban ephemeral and vernacular architecture to describe our contemporary situation. Smoke Signals — Viviendo para La Ciudad is a multimedia installation that is influenced by the 2010 book Living for the City by Donna Jean Murch, about the origins of the Black Panther movement, Bay Area cultural history, and social activism. Cordova transforms the gallery at YBCA into an architectural installation with a skeletal structure, resembling wooden scaffolding, which incorporates 35mm slide film projections focusing on invisible landmark locations throughout the Bay Area. Other components include a series of works on paper with various symbols related to the Pacific Ocean, and a suite of 150 drawings—based on geography and architecture—on reclaimed letter size paper. Smoke Signals — Viviendo para La Ciudad attempts to find an alternative way of reclaiming history that prompts people to reconsider their perspectives on the living city: its past, present, and future.
William Cordova works in installation, performance, sculpture, film, photography, and drawing. He focuses on architecture and landscapes, and reconstructs, reconsiders, and reconnects past events to reveal their relevancy in today’s social climate. Creating ephemeral monuments, Cordova sees the visual arts as a platform for discussing our common experiences, needs, and struggles.