Beatriz Cortez

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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.


Master of Fine Arts, School of Art, California Institute of the Arts, 2015.
Master of Arts, Studio Art, California State University, Northridge, 2013.
Doctor in Philosophy, Latin American Literature/Cultural Studies, Arizona State University, 1999.

2017 California-Pacific Triennial. Curated by Cassandra Coblentz. OCMA. May 6-September 3, 2017.
Mundos alternos: Art and Science Fiction in the Americas. Curated by Tyler Stallings, Joanna Szupinska-Myers, and Robb Hernández. UCR ARTSblock. September, 2017- February, 2018.

Nomad World. Vincent Price Art Museum. September 24, 2016 – January 28, 2017.
LA Vernacular: Space Capsule Interior Series I. Monte Vista Projects, Highland Park, California. July 16- August 8, 2016.
Your Life Work. Art+TECH Artist-in-Residency Exhibition. Cerritos College Art Gallery. March 1- April 1, 2016.
The Cosmos. California Institute of the Arts. February 21-27, 2015.
Nomad World. Stamp Gallery, University of Maryland, College Park. January 26-March 12, 2015.
Quema / Burned. Centro Cultural de Españ a, San Salvador, El Salvador. July 16-30, 2014.
Our Roots / Nuestras raíces. California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). January 27 – 31, 2014.
The Time Machine / La máquina del tiempo. Grand Central Arts Center. August 3 – October 13, 2013.
Childhood Bedroom / Habitación de infancia. TRACTIONARTS, Los Angeles. May 25 – June 7, 2013.
The Two Lavas / Las dos lavas. Shed Gallery, CSU-Northridge. March 11- 15, 2013.
Echoes and Memories / Ecos y memorias. Museo Municipal Tecleño (MUTE), Santa Tecla, El Salvador. December 12, 2012 – January 16, 2013.
The Books of Memory / Los libros de la memoria. Shed Gallery, CSU- Northridge. November, 2012.
American Dream Blues. Los Angeles Theatre Center, Los Angeles, California. May 31 – June 14, 2012.
American Dream Blues. Manzanita Hall Gallery, CSU-Northridge. May 27-June 30, 2011.

Customizing Language. Curated by Idurre Alonso and Selene Preciado. Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE). January 6 – February 14, 2016.
Go Big or Go Home. Curated by Rough Play. Brand Library Art Center, Glendale, CA. February 20 – March 25, 2016.
De la tierra a la tierra / From the Earth to the Earth. Centro Cultural Metropolitano, Quito, Ecuador. October 25 – November 30, 2016.
Anticamera. Curated by Kyle Johanson. The Bindery Projects, St. Paul. November-December, 2016.
SUR 3. Biennial, Cerritos College Art Gallery, curated by James MacDevitt. October-November, 2015.
Ser y no saber nada y ser sin rumbo cierto (To Be and Not to Know Anything, and to Be without Bearing). La Fábrica, Estudios de arte contemporáneo, El Salvador. July 19-August 3, 2015.
Guatemala Después. Ciudad de la Imaginación. Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. June 6 – July 3, 2015.
CalArts MFA Show. Cooper Design Center, Los Angeles, California. June 4 – 25, 2015.
Guatemala Después. Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, New York. April 9 – 29, 2015.
Vida y memoria de Patzicía. Patzicı́a, Guatemala. January -March, 2015.
10. Museo de Arte de El Salvador, San Salvador, El Salvador. September 2 – October 12, 2014.
Time/Memory. Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, Santa Ana. January–February, 2014
Inquieta imagen 2013. Museo de Arte y Diseño Contemporáneo, San José, Costa Rica. November 28, 2013 – February 14, 2014.
MFA/MA Thesis Exhibition. Main Gallery, California State University, Northridge. May–June, 2013.
Annual Juried Art Student Show. Main Gallery, CSU- Northridge. April 15- May 4, 2013.
Second Annual Sculpture Organization Show. West Gallery, CSU- Northridge. March 8 – 14, 2013.
Mourning and Scars: 20 Years After the War, Curated by Roxana Leiva. SOMARTS, San Francisco, California. February 1 – 28, 2013.
Trazos y garabatos: Muesta colectiva de dibujo artístico. Centro Cultural Centroamericano, Los Angeles, CA 90057. December 15 – 29, 2012.
Into Error (juried by: LC, Art Director, Thinkspace Gallery, Culver City, California). California State University, Northridge. December 8-9, 2012.
CSUN Ceramics Guild Show (juried by: Thomas Mü ller). West Gallery, California State University, Northridge. October 27 – November 1, 2012.
First Annual Sculpture Organization Show (juried by: David Adey). West Gallery, California State University, Northridge. April 30-May 7, 2012.
Two Artists Stumble upon Memory / Dos artistas se tropiezan con la memoria. Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), Los Ak ngeles. January 15-16, 2012.
Concealed. West Gallery, California State University, Northridge. September 30 – October 5, 2011.

2015-2016. The Reef, Los Angeles, Artist-in-Residence.
2015-2016. Cerritos College Art+TECH Artist-in-Residence. Art&Design/Automotive Collision Repair Departments. Cerritos College, Norwalk, California.
2014-2015. Guatemala Después (Artistic research, exchange, and public collaboration in sites of memory and transformation), for “Vida y memoria”, a project in collaboration with the Kaqchikel Indigenous collective Kaqjay Moloj. Patzicı́a, Guatemala; Ciudad imaginación, Quetzaltenango; Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala, and the New School of Social Science in New York City.
2013-2015. Walt Disney Company Foundation Scholarship, California Institute of the Arts