(Photo: Beatriz Cortez, Tzolk’in I, 2018. Steel, motor, battery, timer, solar panel, acrylic, and lacquer marker. 132 x 64.5 x 64.5 inches. Commissioned by Clockshop. Courtesy of the artist and Commonwealth and Council, Los Angeles. Photo Credit: Scott Lynch, Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens, NY.)
The newly formed ConSortiUm, a collaborative project of art museums and galleries from the California State University (CSU) system, is pleased to announce a virtual event series that actively engages students, faculty, staff, and communities through visual arts-based dialogue. The inaugural program, PLATFORM, will launch in September 2020 and include six live virtual conversations with contemporary artists, collectives, and curators whose work is critical to current re-imaginings of the art world and the world at large.
All events will be presented live via Zoom with access for all CSU campuses. Recordings of the events will be available for post live-stream viewing and archived by the sponsoring institutions. These events are free and open to the public.
The first event, “Artist Beatriz Cortez in conversation with Erin Christovale, Associate Curator, Hammer Museum,” will take place Thursday, Sept. 24 at 5:30 p.m. on Zoom and is hosted by Cal Poly Pomona, CSU Long Beach, and CSU Northridge. Cortez is a multidisciplinary artist originally from El Salvador and currently based in Los Angeles. Her work explores life in different temporalities and versions of modernity through memory, loss, experiences of migration, and the aftermath of war. In 2019, she was awarded the inaugural Frieze Arto LIFEWTR® Sculpture Prize to create a sculpture for Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, where the commissioned sculpture was inaugurated on September 1, 2020. Cortez teaches in the Department of Central American Studies at California State University, Northridge.
Erin Christovale is associate curator at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles and co-founder of the experimental film and video program, Black Radical Imagination, with Amir George. Christovale is best known for her work on identity, race, and historical legacy. She was co-curator of the 2018 Made In LA exhibition at the Hammer Museum, which featured a multi-site sculptural installation by Beatriz Cortez.
The second event, “Postcommodity : A conversation with artists Cristóbal Martínez and Kade L. Twist,” will take place on Thursday, Oct. 22 at 5:30 p.m on Zoom and is hosted by CSU Humboldt, CSU Long Beach, and Fresno State. The event will feature a collaboration between Martínez and Twist, both of whom are currently based in California. Creating interdisciplinary work that spans a variety of formats from video installation to land intervention, Postcommodity forges new metaphors through an Indigenous lens capable of rationalizing shared experiences within an increasingly challenging contemporary environment. The collective has exhibited nationally and internationally, and was represented in the 2017 Whitney Biennial. In 2015, Postcommodity’s historic land art installation Repellent Fence was completed at the U.S.-Mexico border near Douglas, Arizona, and Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico.
The final event for 2020, “Forensic Architecture: A conversation with founder Eyal Weizman,” will occur on Thursday, Nov. 12 at noon and is hosted by CSU Bakersfield and Sacramento State. A London-based artists’ collective, Forensic Architecture undertakes advanced spatial and media investigations into cases of human rights violations, with and on behalf of communities affected by political violence, human rights organizations, international prosecutors, environmental justice groups, and media organizations. The collective’s work often involves open-source investigation, the construction of digital and physical models, 3D animations, virtual reality environments, and cartographic platforms.
Spring 2021 virtual events will include the Oakland-based People’s Kitchen Collective, Valerie Cassel Oliver, curator of modern and contemporary art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and other participants to be announced.
ConSortiUm recognizes that CSU students are integral to creating a new future, and is therefore committed to providing access to a multiplicity of voices and inspiration as students discover and nurture their own agency. This ground-breaking collaborative will include students, faculty, staff, and other allies from across the CSU campuses. The CSU system represents the largest public four-year college system in the country, with more than 480,000 students enrolled at twenty-three campuses. ConSortiUm formed when CSU announced remote teaching would continue through the end of 2020. ConSortiUm members are dedicated to supporting students, artists, and their campuses’ surrounding communities during the pandemic, while also responding to the pressing demand for an end to systemic and overt racism in California and beyond.
ConSortiUm’s participating CSU art museums and galleries include venues at campuses in Bakersfield, Todd Madigan Gallery; Chico, Janet Turner Print Museum; East Bay, University Art Gallery; Fresno, Center for Creativity and the Arts; Fullerton, Nicholas & Lee Begovich Gallery and Grand Central Art Center; Humboldt, Reese Bullen Gallery and Goudi’ni Native American Arts Gallery; Long Beach, School of Art and Carolyn Campagna Kleefeld Contemporary Art Museum; Los Angeles, Luckman Gallery, Luckman Fine Arts Complex; Northridge, Art Galleries; Pomona, W. Keith & Janet Kellogg University Art Gallery and Don B. Huntley Gallery; Sacramento, University Galleries; San Bernardino, Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art; San Diego, University Art Galleries; San Francisco, Fine Arts Gallery; San Jose, Natalie and James Thompson Gallery; San Luis Obispo, University Art Gallery; Sonoma, University Art Gallery; and Stanislaus, University Art Gallery and Stan State Art Space.