los-angeles

View of “Beatriz Cortez and Rafa Esparza,” 2018. Center: Beatriz Cortez, The Argonaut: after Pakal, 2018. Photo: Ruben Diaz.

Beatriz Cortez and Rafa Esparza

Commonwealth and Council

View of “Beatriz Cortez and Rafa Esparza,” 2018. Center: Beatriz Cortez, The Argonaut: after Pakal, 2018. Photo: Ruben Diaz.

A spirit of colorful vitality and heterogeneous collectivity infused “Pasado mañana” (The Day After Tomorrow), Beatriz Cortez and Rafa Esparza’s recent exhibition at Commonwealth and Council. Over the past year, the two Los Angeles–based artists have collaborated on sculptural installations that address the migration of bodies, symbols, forms, and building techniques in and around the Americas. For Nomad 13, 2017, Cortez and Esparza constructed an eight-and-a-half-foot-tall “space capsule” made of steel and adobe bricks that sheltered an array of plant species (such as corn, cactus, quinoa, chili, yerba buena, and sage) cultivated by Inca, Maya, and Aztec civilizations for bodily and spiritual nourishment. In Portal Sur, after Copan, 2017, the pair again employed steel and adobe bricks to build a freestanding version of the corbeled archways found in Mayan architecture. Installed

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