William Cordova

born in 1971 in Lima, Peru
lives and works in Houston, Miami and New York

William Cordovas sculptures, installations and works on paper are very much bound up with his transcultural biography that took him from Lima, Peru, where he was born, via Miami, Florida, to the many other places where he has lived or spent time in the US and Europe. His subjets are drawn from a continuum of radical movements and players in struggles for self-determination. “Revealing the intersections between magical realism and social realism, he orchestrates collisions between ancient and recent histories, oral tradition and revolutionary texts to make way for an in-between, transitional, and ultimately transformative space.” (Rashida Bumbray)
In “Bird in Space (for Bobby Rush)” (2007/08), for example, Cordova constructs a monument to revolutionary political ideology. Combining reclaimed wood from the streets of Chicago, a Peruvian Hyacinth bird feather, and the arm of a pair of eyeglasses Cordova stages Charlie Parker, Brâncu?i and Bobby Rush among many others within a pantheon of transnational figures.

In addition to staging solo exhibitions e.g. at the Fleming Museum, University of Vermont (2009), the P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York (2005/06), and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami (2003), he has recently taken part in groundbreaking group exhibitions, such as „NeoHooDoo“, Menil Collection, Houston, Texas (2008), and „Street Level“, Nasher Museum at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina (2007). His works were presented in the San Juan Triennial, San Juan (2009), the Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2008), and the Biennale di Venezia (2003). In 2008 he was artist-in-residence at Artpace, San Antonio, Texas. In 2006 Arndt & Partner Berlin presented the first solo show of William Cordova in Germany.

William Cordova, beyond colonialism (notes from bell hooks), 2011, graphite, ink, photo collage, gold leaf on paper, 91,5 x 91,5 cm | 36.02 x 36.02 in, # CORD0179 William Cordova, beyond colonialism (notes from bell hooks), 2011, graphite, ink, photo collage, gold leaf on paper, 91,5 x 91,5 cm | 36.02 x 36.02 in, # CORD0179
Mär 25, 2013

William Cordova

William Cordova, Untitled, 2010, goldleaf and collage in vintage frame 42 x 56 cm | 16.54 x 22.05 in  William Cordova, Untitled, 2010, goldleaf and collage in vintage frame 42 x 56 cm | 16.54 x 22.05 in

WILLIAM CORDOVA
at ARNDT Berlin

8 March - 13 April 2013

ARNDT Berlin is pleased to present works by William Cordova (born 1971 in Lima, Peru).

William Cordova’s work is tied to an urban ecology of obsolescence, disparity, and displacement. Busted cars, trashed tires, discarded shoes, machetes, speakers and books yellowed with age provide the material support and iconographic program for his drawings, collages, and installations. For the artist, these material choices reference the reality of lived experience, as opposed to the spectacle of culture, mass-produced for constant consumption. The fluency with which Cordova traverses media and remixes cultural signifiers confirms his visual multilinguism, as barbed as it is lived-in.
Much of Cordova’s work induces similarly uncanny interpretive spirals, abetted not by arbitrary Surrealist juxtapositions but the all-too-common strangeness of our own detritus and the too-often repressed histories they conceal.

William Cordova lives and works in Lima, Miami and New York. He has earned his MFA from Yale University in 2004 and his BFA from The Art Institute of Chicago in 1996. In addition to staging solo exhibitions e.g. at the Fleming Museum, University of Vermont (2009), the P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York (2005/06), and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami (2003), he has taken part in groundbreaking group exhibitions, such as „NeoHooDoo“, Menil Collection, Houston, Texas (2008), and „Street Level“, Nasher Museum at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina (2007).

His work is in such public collections as the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Yale Art Gallery, New Haven; Museo de Arte de Lima, Peru; Ellipse Foundation, Cascais, Portugal; Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami; and La Casa de las Americas, Havana, Cuba; among others. In 2006 Arndt & Partner Berlin presented the first solo show of William Cordova in Germany. Recent solo exhibitions include 'smoke signals: viviendo pa’ la ciudad' at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco (2012) and 'yawar mallku (royalty, abduction & exile)' at La Conservera in Murcia, Spain (2011). He has held numerous residencies and is currently a fellow at the American Academy in Berlin.

 Please note that ARNDT Berlin is also showing Erik Bulatov (born 1933 in Sverdlovsk, Russia).

Feb 8, 2011

William Cordova - La Conservera, Murcia/ Spain

William Cordova, yawar mallku (royalty, abduction & exile), installation view at La Conservera, Murcia/ Spain  William Cordova, yawar mallku (royalty, abduction & exile), installation view at La Conservera, Murcia/ Spain

until 15 May 2011
On view to the general public from February 4th, this latest project features individual shows by the artists Pilar Albarracín (Seville, Spain, 1968), William Cordova (Lima, Peru, 1971), Kalup Linzy (Florida, USA, 1977) and Francesco Vezzoli (Brescia, Italy, 1971). Starting with this series, the Sala Verónicasgallery becomes La Conservera’s fifthspace, with an exhibition by the French artists Brice Dellsperger(Cannes, France, 1972) and Jean-Luc Verna (Nice, France, 1962). This show will open on Wednesday February 2nd.These six artists share common concerns and interests, They all project themselves through characters drawn from the history of art, literature, popular culture, the star system or soap operas. To a certain extent the series focuses on the demonopathic syndrome of double personality, the splitting of the artist into different physical and psychic entities. The body, gender, identity, sexuality and desire are some of the topics addressed. For William Cordova, Brice Dellsperger, Kalup Linzy, Jean-Luc Verna and Francesco Vezzoli these are their first solo exhibitions in Spain.
 

Jun 15, 2010

VIVA LA REVOLUCION: A DIALOGUE WITH THE URBAN LANDSCAPE - WILLIAM CORDOVA

William Cordova, „Lumumba-zapata (bpp vol. ii, no. 25, Sunday, march 9, 1969”, 2006, 6000 reprinted and boundled newspapers, reprinted photographs, stones, Until 2 January 2011 this work is included in the group exhibition ‘Viva la Revolucion: A Dialogue with the Urban Landscape’ at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego William Cordova, „Lumumba-zapata (bpp vol. ii, no. 25, Sunday, march 9, 1969”, 2006, 6000 reprinted and boundled newspapers, reprinted photographs, stones, Until 2 January 2011 this work is included in the group exhibition ‘Viva la Revolucion: A Dialogue with the Urban Landscape’ at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego

18 July 2010 to 02 Januray 2011 at MCASD Downtown, Jacobs Building
A multifaceted exhibition that explores the dialogue between artists and the urban landscape, Viva la Revolución: A Dialogue with the Urban Landscape features works both in the Museum’s galleries as well as at public sites throughout downtown San Diego.

Exhibitions

WILLIAM CORDOVA

at ARNDT Berlin

8 March - 13 April 2013

ARNDT Berlin is pleased to present works by William Cordova (born 1971 in Lima, Peru).

William Cordova’s work is tied to an urban ecology of obsolescence, disparity, and displacement. Busted cars, trashed tires, discarded shoes, machetes, speakers and books yellowed with age provide the material support and iconographic program for his drawings, collages, and installations. For the artist, these material choices reference the reality of lived experience, as opposed to the spectacle of culture, mass-produced for constant consumption. The fluency with which Cordova traverses media and remixes cultural signifiers confirms his visual multilinguism, as barbed as it is lived-in.
Much of Cordova’s work induces similarly uncanny interpretive spirals, abetted not by arbitrary Surrealist juxtapositions but the all-too-common strangeness of our own detritus and the too-often repressed histories they conceal.

William Cordova lives and works in Lima, Miami and New York. He has earned his MFA from Yale University in 2004 and his BFA from The Art Institute of Chicago in 1996. In addition to staging solo exhibitions e.g. at the Fleming Museum, University of Vermont (2009), the P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York (2005/06), and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami (2003), he has taken part in groundbreaking group exhibitions, such as „NeoHooDoo“, Menil Collection, Houston, Texas (2008), and „Street Level“, Nasher Museum at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina (2007).

His work is in such public collections as the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Yale Art Gallery, New Haven; Museo de Arte de Lima, Peru; Ellipse Foundation, Cascais, Portugal; Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami; and La Casa de las Americas, Havana, Cuba; among others. In 2006 Arndt & Partner Berlin presented the first solo show of William Cordova in Germany. Recent solo exhibitions include 'smoke signals: viviendo pa’ la ciudad' at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco (2012) and 'yawar mallku (royalty, abduction & exile)' at La Conservera in Murcia, Spain (2011). He has held numerous residencies and is currently a fellow at the American Academy in Berlin.

Please note that ARNDT Berlin is also showing Erik Bulatov (born 1933 in Sverdlovsk, Russia).

William  Cordova, Untitled, 2010, goldleaf and collage in vintage frame 42 x 56 cm | 16.54 x 22.05 in William Cordova, Untitled, 2010, goldleaf and collage in vintage frame 42 x 56 cm | 16.54 x 22.05 in

WILLIAM CORDOVA "EPHEMERAL MONUMENTS"
 

Opening: 11  June 2010
Duration: 12 June to 15 September 2010

Ephemeral Monuments Ephemeral Monuments

Ephemeral Monuments
Ephemeral and mostly site specific monuments are an integral part of William Cordovas body of work. Mostly made of lumpen materials and discarded consumer goods, he is recycling these rejects of society, items classed as waste and destined to be forgotten, he is practicing a kind of cultural conservationism, through which he also preserves the often multi-layered semantics of these items on a symbolic level: ‘The use of found materials is not to erase, transform and make anew but to emphasize the content(s) already existing within that used or found material.’ (W.C.)
The installation Exile on Mainstreet refers only superficially to the Rolling Stones’ tenth studio album. Consisting of 49 LPs the work forms a labyrinth from the discarded music archive of an elite US school. The random order of the records undermines the selection processes to which such schools customarily subject their applicants. The photo on the cover of the Stones’ Exile on Mainstreet album – which comes from the book of photographs The Americans, Robert Frank’s sceptical view of American society in 1953 – introduces an additional level of meaning.
Fleeting, ephemeral, random, the monuments erected by Cordova mainly centre around radical political movements and their protagonists’ struggle for self-determination. His work “The House that Frank Lloyd Wright built 4 Fred Hampton and Mark Clark” (2006), a simple wooden construction presented at the Whitney Biennial in 2008, was made in honour of two Black Panther activists killed during a controversial police operation. In cooperation with fellow artist Leslie Hewitt, he created the installation “I Wish It Were True” as a salute to the Third Cinema movement and its legacy. It visualises the powerlessness of African- and Latin-American cinema against US mainstream cinema with a wall consisting of over 800 video cassettes.
In addition to staging solo exhibitions e.g. at the Fleming Museum, University of Vermont (2009), the P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York (2005/06), and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami (2003), his works were presented in the San Juan Triennial (2009), the Whitney Biennial, New York (2008), and the Biennale di Venezia (2003).

Ephemeral Monuments  Ephemeral Monuments

30.04. - 31.05.2010
Changing The World

Erik Bulatov, Sophie Calle, William Cordova, Wim Delvoye, Anton Henning, Thomas Hirschhorn, Ilya und Emilia Kabakov, Jitish Kallat, Jon Kessler, Karsten Konrad, Julije Knifer, Enrique Martinez Celaya, Josephine Meckseper, Vik Muniz, Muntean Rosenblum, Julian Rosefeldt, Charles Sandison, Dennis Scholl, Nedko Solakov, Hiroshi Sugito, Ena Swansea, Mathilde Ter Heijne, Keith Tyson, Ralf Ziervogel...

Changing the World Changing the World

ARNDT will inaugurate its new exhibition space during the “Berlin Gallery Weekend“ (30 April to 2 May 2010) on Friday, 30 April, from 5 - 10 p.m. Located on Potsdamer Strasse 96 in Berlin, the opening exhibition will feature new works by the core gallery Located on the second floor of the „Wintergarten Varieté“, ARNDT’s future spaces will encompass almost 400 m2, including a ballroom dated from the 19th century with an original wooden coffered ceiling of 5 meter height as main exhibition and “Signature Space”. Berlin based Canadian Architect David Saik, designer of numerous projects for the arts, has been commissioned for the project. Saik’s recent completed work includes studios for the artists Jeff Wall and Steven Shearer.
artists as well as invited guests: Erik Bulatov, Sophie Calle, William Cordova, Wim Delvoye, Gilbert & George, Anton Henning, Thomas Hirschhorn, Ilya und Emilia Kabakov, Jitish Kallat, Jon Kessler, Vik Muniz, Muntean Rosenblum, Julian Rosefeldt, Nedko Solakov, Mathilde ter Heijne, Keith Tyson, Ralf Ziervogel and others.

““Changing The World” argues that it is possible to change the world and that we must continually search for and strive to achieve this. “Changing the World” also posits that art and artists have the means and the potential to bring about change in our world. Artists question the world we live in, they challenge the status quo and our conventions, think introspectively and conjure up brand-new, alternative worlds. Many recent exhibitions have explored artists’ relationships with the world, among them “Being in the World” (Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Collection – Cifo Miami, 2009/2010), “Fare Mundi/Making Worlds” (53rd Venice Biennial, 2009), “Weltempfänger/World Receiver” (Kunsthalle Hamburg, 2007/2008), and the upcoming group exhibition “Promesses du Passé/Promises from the past” (Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, 14 April to 19 July 2010).“ Art does not provide answers, it merely increases and refines the questions,” argued Jan Hoet in 1992 with his “documenta IX”. Like no other exhibition before it or since, the works of the artists opened the viewers’ eyes, stimulated, captivated and shocked their senses. It is this constant desire and courage to bring about change that I believe forms the common denominator and connection between even the most seemingly diverse artistic positions to which I dedicate my first exhibition.” Matthias Arndt
After pioneering in 1994, being the first commercial gallery with an international focus in former East Berlin, and after opening various gallery locations in Berlin Mitte over the past 16 years, Matthias Arndt positions himself for the first time in the former western part of Berlin, introducing at the same time a new vibrant art district to the international public.

To view a selection of the exhibited works, please click on the picture underneath.

Changing the World  Changing the World
Changing the World  Changing the World
Changing the World  Changing the World

14.11.08 - 14.01.09
Sculpture is…
Group exhibition with works by
Veronika Brovall, William Cordova, Wim Delvoye, Anton Henning, Thomas Hirschhorn, Jon Kessler, Douglas Kolk, Karsten Konrad, Josephine Meckseper, Mathilde ter Heijne, Susan Turcot, Veron Urdarianu, Franz West, Wang Du

Sculpture is… (2008) Sculpture is… (2008)

Sculpture is…

…something you bump into when you back up to look at a painting. (Ad Reinhardt 1913–1967)
It is not so much a question of whether the painter Ad Reinhardt merely intended to provoke sculptors or attempted to tease and teach the art audience, it is rather an entrenched statement on the enduring battle between painter and sculptor; the everlasting struggle between painting and sculpture.
In the past decade we have witnessed the triumph of painting. Before that, the end of painting was proclaimed as often as the victory of sculpture - and vice versa. Yet, neither of these mediums can finally win this battle. There is never a higher quality of painting or a lower quality of sculpture. In fact there is only relevant and less relevant art.

This exhibition is devoted to gallery and guests artists who either confine themselves to this medium or who are bound to both media, accomplishing their oeuvre through an intended crossover between them.

 

10.06. – 21.07.07
William Cordova
“Pachacuti (Stand up next to a mountain)”
Solo exhibition at Arndt & Partner, Zurich

William Cordova “Pachacuti (Stand up next to a mountain)” solo exhibition at Arndt & Partner, Zurich William Cordova “Pachacuti (Stand up next to a mountain)” solo exhibition at Arndt & Partner, Zurich

Arndt & Partner Zurich are pleased to present the first solo show by William Cordova in Switzerland. New works of the 1971 Peruvian born, Houston, Miami and New York-based artist will be on view.
A room-filling, wooden installation, interspersed with intimate, coloured drawings, is the scenic starting point of Cordova's project "Pachacuti". Delicate, cryptic drawings on found paper - tagged by the artist as "Lumpen Art" - make a picture show bridging the vernacular and the Inca culture. Without doubt inspired by his own transcultural background, this personal iconography aims at the profound meaning of landscape, language and history as shaping society. Here, Cordova is interested in the rejected, but equally so in the forgotten and lost rising again from behind the realities of the present, yet ultimately sparing the former from being touched.
"Pachacuti" is a Quechua word, used by the Inca to denote "the world turned upside down" or cataclysm. William Cordova associates with this the resistance of a people that, while colonised by invaders, succeeded in maintaining its own, marginalized identity. With the installation "Pachacuti" at the Zurich exhibition, Cordoba creates a labyrinth as a response to the complex array of facts and manipulation at work in constructing the truth.

30.06. – 31.08.07
"Sweet Bird of Youth" curated by Hedi Slimane
Group exhibition with works by
Slater Bradley, Mathew Cerletty, Dan Colen, Gardar Eide Einarsson, Terence Koh, Douglas Kolk, Nate Lowman, Ryan McGinley, Matt Saunders, Steven Shearer, Hedi Slimane, Paul P., Banks Violette

"Sweet Bird of Youth" group show curated by Hedi Slimane at Arndt & Partner, Berlin 2007 "Sweet Bird of Youth" group show curated by Hedi Slimane at Arndt & Partner, Berlin 2007

PRESS RELEASE
The French fashion designer and artist Hedi Slimane will show his first group exhibition curated for Arndt & Partner Berlin: "Sweet Bird of Youth".
The title "Sweet Birth of Youth" is borrowed from a play by Tennessee Williams. Upon his return to his hometown the play's protagonist, Chance Wayne, finds himself torn between two women: a has-been film diva, whose role alludes to his failed attempt at an acting career in Hollywood, and the left-behind love of his youth. His past having caught up with him, Chance desperately chases the sweet bird of youth trying to give his failed life a positive turn. "Sweet Bird of Youth" refers to this in-between state, to the insight that the world of youth cannot be retrieved once it has passed by like a sweet bird. Similar allusions are to be found in the works assembled by Hedi Slimane. The works which are for the most part created by friends of Slimane also have in common that their colour palette is limited to black and white.
The works of Douglas Kolk (born in 1963) very impressively capture this torn state described above. The drawings by the American artist, who had to cease working in 1999 due to excessive drug use, and who took up making art again only in 2004, depict shadowy faces and fragmented bodies which - devoid of meaning-seem like blasé fashion stars. Ghosts, skulls, and monstrous grimaces float about the fragile, subtle creatures and liberate them from the context of fashion statements, thus articulating in a fragmentary way their anger, yearnings, and fears.
While Kolk plays in his sometimes seemingly chaotic visual spaces with signs of youth and fashion cultures, the Canadian Steven Shearer (born in 1968) addresses the language of death metal, a specific subculture. The often unbridled description of violence in this music genre is a safety valve for anger at our society. Apart from provoking statements that Shearer finds in Internet chatrooms, he also uses photo collages and other found material like photographs, posters, and clippings from teenager magazines for his paintings. Stylistically reminiscent of Edvard Munch or Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, his longhaired heavy metal fans exhibit a surprising vulnerability.
While Shearer succeeds in attracting attention and sympathy for his outsiders through the provoking elements of his installations and the old-master quality of his paintings, Banks Violette (born in 1973) takes up another aspect of death metal. In his expansive works, the American artist quotes the symbolism of death and decay, making the beholder shudder. In his shiny black new-Gothic sculptures, he takes up the iconography of heavy metal, both on a formal-aesthetic level as well as in terms of content. His works are inspired by true events, for example, the gruesome murder of a girl by three high-school students. Violette thematises violence so prevalent in the life world of these young people, which they use to demonstrate their distance to society.
The light and space installations of Terence Koh (born in 1977) also avail themselves of a wide spectrum of subcultural fields of association, without however being linked to concrete social groups. In his museum-quality installations he often uses banal materials that are charged into becoming fetishes through gay symbols. Far removed from any moral restrictions, his works reflect on topics like temptation, pleasure, and desire.
Similar aspects can also be found in the painting of the American artist Paul P. (born in 1977), who is influenced both by classical portrait painting and by gay pornography of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Young men in lascivious poses populate his works; sensitively portrayed and apparently in communication with the beholder, their originally pornographic background disappears. The works retain a certain "memento mori" effect, because these men are porn actors from the beginning of the era of AIDS.
Mathew Cerletty's portraits of himself or of family members reveal an exhibitionist pleasure. The beholder encounters figures in everyday situations, executed in a masterly style, who are often imbedded in flowery or abstract patterns, staring into space or apparently waiting for something. These opulent paintings stand alongside formalistic works that focus on language. In "Sweet Bird of Youth", Cerletty is presenting the drawing "The Feeling is Mutual". The white writing on a black background reads like an anti-message, but refrains from any explanation.
An engagement with representative systems used by the mass media or to designate subcultural difference is also central to the work of Gardar Eide Einarsson (born 1976). Known for his social architectures and artistic experiments with skaters, American youth gangs and drug addicts, the Norwegian artist uses a heterogeneous array of media such as painting, video and sculpture to investigate the communicative strategies of subgroups and their quest to find and assert their own identity.
The Norwegian artist's fascination with subcultural groups is shared by New York photographer Ryan McGinley (born 1977), whose motifs often depict friends, lovers, skateboarders, graffiti artists and kids at a loose end. With a documentary sensitivity and an uncompromising verité style, McGinley shows us the light and dark sides of the rites of passage into adulthood by capturing his subjects in public at parties and concerts, as well as in moments of absolute intimacy. In doing so, the artist offers a very personal take on the life of this generation.
Mass media, subculture and an investigation of the passage into adulthood are also fundamental to the work of American artist Dan Colen (born 1979). His painted sculptures transform everyday subcultural artifacts into high art monuments to the lives of "twentysomethings" and downtown socialisation. In meticulously painted text works and sculptures that conversely evoke the spontaneity of graffiti, his works mine our need to establish an individual identity and the perpetual efforts the self undertakes to construct and affirm this identity.
The oil paintings, drawings and animations of Matt Saunders (born 1975) also investigate the construction of identity in a media saturated era in which individuals seem more likely to play a role than actually live their lives. His interest lies in the moments in which his protagonists slip out of character, or in which film icons step out of their roles to expose the everyday life of the person behind the public persona.
Known for his "Bullet-Hole" silkscreen paintings, the work of Nate Lowman (born 1979 in Las Vegas) is charged by a punkrock aesthetic mixed with a strong political load. His critical distance to the culture, society and art scene of America is characteristic of the young generation of artists represented in "Sweet Bird of Youth". The iconography of this generation is remarkable for its sometimes subtle, sometimes loud mixture of madness, rebellion, politics and violence.

31.10. – 25.11.06
William Cordova
“Pálante”
Solo exhibition at Arndt & Partner, Berlin

William Cordova “Pálante” Solo exhibition at Arndt & Partner, Berlin William Cordova “Pálante” Solo exhibition at Arndt & Partner, Berlin

PRESS RELEASE
Arndt & Partner Berlin are pleased to present the first solo show of William Cordova in Germany. Born in 1972 in Lima, Peru, the artist has lived in Lima and Miami since his youth. William Cordova employs a wide range of artistic media and techniques in his work, but in the exhibition presented here "Pálante" - which translated from the colloquial Spanish means "forwards" or "to carry on" - sparse drawings and pared down collages predominate.
Mostly small format drawings are set against light coloured monochrome backgrounds. Sometimes they are crudely crossed over and covered with broad black adhesive tape. The images mainly depict accumulated and discarded objects, which seem to have acquired their own surreal presence. William Cordova's iconographic repertoire comprises loud speakers, records, microphones, boards, car tyres, little black books roughly the size of the Maoist bible. Removed from their usual function and artfully arranged in the manner of still lifes, from time to time the objects take on human characteristics as for example in "one step up 2 steps back". The artist defines his artistic practice as a "trickster" and the use of the found object as the "reality of lived experience". The objects convey instability and dilapidation, while at the same time being anarchic. They seem to have come alive and to possess an urge to rebellion and conspiracy - just like symbols of resistance. The artist investigates the history of anarchy and the causes of such actions and "uprisings" within certain social groups.
Alongside everyday materials such as folded paper, the use of gold leaf comes as a surprise: it forms the ground not for a religious subject, but for profane objects, such as a lorry left in no-man's land (Wholesellers) or a stack of records being attacked by microphones (No nacimos pá semilla (or coin, tel, pro). Along with its association with Peru, gold leaf is evocative above all of icon painting - the embodiment of melancholy and contemplation, as in the classic film "Nosthalgia" by Andrej Tarkowskij, which the artist alludes to not least because of the themes of distance and exile.
William Cordova's mosaic of film, music and literature fragments is reminiscent of vernacular language and situates his work close to Appropriation Art. The titles contain a play on quotations referring amongst other things to the Third Cinema movement, Jorge Luis Borges, Frantz Fanon, Túpac Amaru, or to films such as "Fitzcarraldo" by Werner Herzog. Works such as the sculpture "This is not 4 U" - a radio encased in aluminium and plexiglas - or the drawing "On the low frequencies I speak 4 U" (para R. Means y D. Banks), in which quiet or whispering voices find their expression in wafer-thin pencil lines on paper, represent a kind of "cultural archaeology" (Gean Moreno, Flash Art).
Besides numerous group exhibitions in the USA and Europe, including the 49th Venice Biennial (2003), William Cordova has presented solo exhibitions in renowned institutions, such as the P.S.1-Contemporary Art Center, New York (2006), or the MOCA-Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami (2003). In 2007 he will participate in the group show "Street Level" at the Nasher Museum, North Carolina.