Untimely Futures: Speculative Travels through Time and Space with Beatriz Cortez

Untimely Futures: Speculative Travels through Time and Space with Beatriz Cortez

Untimely Futures: Speculative Travels through Time and Space with Beatriz Cortez

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Date and Time

  • Tuesday, March 20, 2018 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.


Mother Rosalie Hill Hall, Warren Auditorium

5998 Alcala Park San Diego, CA 92110




Beatriz Cortez is a writer and an artist. Her work explores simultaneity, the existence in different temporalities and different versions of modernity, particularly in relation to memory and loss in the aftermath of war and the experience of immigration, and in relation to imagining possible futures.

Artist Statement:

My work is about the memory of growing up in El Salvador, and it is about migration. It is about my own experiences as I came first to Arizona, where I lived for 11 years before moving to Los Angeles in 2000 via Detroit. But my work is also about the experience of simultaneity: of living in two places at once, San Salvador and Los Angeles, of existing in two or more, but different versions of modernity, in two different cultural mind frames, moving back and forth within different technologies and different temporalities. I think of memory as part of a process of transformation, movement, becoming other, nomadism. And so, I build memory in order to imagine possible futures. I build machines that function as metaphors of movement, time travel, simultaneity. My time machines, memory machines, fortune teller machines, pinball machines display crumbling and newer versions of modernity, all at once. The ability to intervene in the chronological order of time is important in my work. Art, like play, allows us to experiment with different ideas of space and time, we can jump through different moments in time, exist in different spaces at once, move around, be faster and slower. In addition, I am interested in exploring syncretism and simultaneity through vernacular or domestic architecture in the city of Los Angeles, which brings together modern and ancient, indigenous forms of construction. It is a form of construction that serves as a metaphor of cultural diversity, coexistence, and nomadism.

Cortez has exhibited her work in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., New York, Minneapolis, and Miami, and internationally in El Salvador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Ecuador. She holds a Masters of Fine Arts from the California Institute of the Arts, and a doctorate in Latin American literature from Arizona State University. She is a recipient of the California Community Foundation Fellowship for Visual Artists for 2017. She teaches in the Department of Central American Studies at California State University, Northridge. She lives and works in Los Angeles.


begin quote“Ms. Cortez's work gets at the vulnerability and bravery of the immigrant, making you think about someone who picks up and moves to another country with just a few things.” --Joanna Szupinska-Myers, Curator of Exhibitions, UC Riverside

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Founders Hall
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