QUEER|ART|PRIZE 2018 RECENT WORK FINALIST

cumbre: look as far as you can see in every direction—north and south, east and west (2018) BY rafa esparza

rafa esparza

  nails and shoe sculpture courtesy of HART LËSHKINA

nails and shoe sculpture courtesy of HART LËSHKINA

Rafa Esparza is a multidisciplinary artist who was born, raised, and is currently living in Los Angeles. Woven into Esparza’s bodies of work are his interest in history, personal narratives, and kinship. He is inspired by his own relationship to colonization and the disrupted genealogies that come forth as a result. Using live performance as his main form of inquiry, Esparza employs site-specificity, materiality, memory and (non)documentation as primary tools to interrogate and critique ideologies, power structures and binaries that problematize the “survival” process of historicized narratives and the environments wherein people are left to navigate and socialize. Esparza has performed in a variety of spaces including AIDS Project Los Angeles, Highways Performance Space, REDCAT, Human Resources, SOMArts, Vincent Price Museum, LACE and various public sites throughout Los Angeles. He is a recipient of an Emerging Artist 2014 California Community Foundation Fellowship for Visual Arts, a 2014 Art Matters grantee, and a 2015 recipient of a Rema Hort Mann Foundation Emerging Artist Grant. Esparza was recently part of the 2016 Made in L.A. Biennial at the Hammer Museum and the 2017 Whitney Biennial.

 
  Images courtesy of the artist

Images courtesy of the artist

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cumbre: look as far as you can see in every direction—north and south, east and west (2018)

“This newly commissioned work by Rafa Esparza is an ambitious, three-part performance at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. Esparza’s point of departure is a meditation on bridges and bodies of water as sites of connection and healing, division and risk. The artist’s performance responds to personal, familial histories of immigration into the United States and the deeply complex history of downtown Los Angeles. Esparza will be joined by artist Sebastian Hernandez for a special collaboration in the final segment of the afternoon’s performance.” —MOCA

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