Marfa Dialogues

Tierra. Sangre. Oro.

August 25 2017 - March 18, 2018



Tierra. Sangre. Oro.
Rafa Esparza with Carmen Argote, Nao Bustamante, Beatriz Cortez, Timo Fahler, Eamon Ore-Giron, and Star Montana
August 25, 2017 – March 18, 2018

Opening Reception
Friday, August 25
6-9pm at Ballroom Marfa


Ballroom Marfa is pleased to announce Tierra. Sangre. Oro., an exhibition envisioned by artist Rafa Esparza. The program will include new installation, performance, and sculptural work from Esparza alongside collaborations and contributions from artists Carmen Argote, Nao Bustamante, Beatriz Cortez, Timo Fahler, Eamon Ore-Giron, and Star Montana.

Esparza’s work manifests primarily through performance and sculpture, in a territory where the two mediums combine and hybridize. The artist uses adobe brick-building as a process-centered site for personal, cultural, ecological, and political investigation.

In residence in Marfa from June through August, Esparza will produce new work and conceive of a site-specific installation that is particular to the landscape and cultural context of the Big Bend region and northern Mexico, where adobe building is prevalent.

For this project, Esparza will transform Ballroom’s architecture using the adobe bricks that are central to his work. While making these interventions, the artist will explore, in his words, “the visibility of Brown people in Marfa.” Esparza will work with his father, who taught the artist how to make adobe, as well as with people from his community and local adobe craftsmen to produce bricks and install the project.

Esparza’s adobe architecture provides the ground for presentations by the artists he has invited to join him in Marfa as he “expands the idea of a Brown laboratory.” New and existing work will be presented amidst structural additions to Ballroom’s facade, galleries, and courtyard, creating spaces for the artist’s “laboratories for dialoguing, thinking, working and making together with my peers.”

Esparza addresses and excavates the history of colonialism; labor and economic value scales; queer culture and masculinity; as well as personal and familial legacy. He sets traditional materials, inherited processes, and ephemeral choreographies up against institutional structures and the historical narratives of Western sculpture, land art, and performance. The exhibition is a continuation of Ballroom Marfa’s mission to commission internationally-relevant artworks and performances that respond to and engage with our community and environment.

Tierra. Sangre. Oro. is organized by Ballroom Marfa’s curator and interim director, Laura Copelin.

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.

 

    Tierra. Sangre. Oro. is made possible by the generous support of the Moody Foundation; Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; Brown Foundation Inc.; City of Marfa; National Endowment for the Arts; Texas Commission on the Arts; Fairfax Dorn & Marc Glimcher; Virginia Lebermann & Family; Melony & Adam Lewis; Kristina Van Dyke & Jeff Fort; Ballroom Marfa Board of Trustees; and Ballroom Marfa Members.

    Strange Attractor Funders 20170110

    This is Presence Funders 20160802

    In-kind support provided by Big Bend Brewing Co.; The Capri; Sandra Harper, Eliza, Sophia & Hamilton Fish; Hotel Saint George; and SAVED Wines.

    Special thanks to Oscar Aguero; Baeza Feeds LLC; Lalo Baeza; Oscar Bedford; The Big Bend Sentinel; Blackwell School Alliance; Abby Boyd; Chip Briscoe; Michael Camacho; Vicente Celis; Chinati Foundation; Clockshop; Tim Crowley; Anthony DeSimone; Gretel Enck; Ramon Esparza; David Fenster; Cuca Flores; JD Garcia; Alfredo de la Garza; Alex Gates; Trey Gerfers; Vilis Indie; JD Samson & MEN; Judd Foundation; Rainer Judd; Marcus Kuiland-Nazario; Minerva Lopez; Marfa Hardware; Marfa Public Radio; Marfa Recording Co.; Susannah Lipesey & Alex Marks; Jeff Matheis; Liz Miller; Lauren McMurry; Rachel Monroe; Alejandro Luperca Morales; Riley O’Bryan; Sullivan Patten; Elise Pepple; Bobby Ramirez; Zeke Raney; Don Manuel, Victor & Jose Rodriguez; Francisco Rosas; Silla Marfa; Gory Smelley; Emilie Sullivan; Ramona Tejada; Taller Mexicano de Gobelinos, Guadalajara; Laura Tucker; UC Riverside’s Tómas Rivera Library; Emma Whelan; Mac White; the Whitney Museum of American Art; and WNP Industries.

    Tierra. Sangre. Oro.
    Rafa Esparza with Carmen Argote, Nao Bustamante, Beatriz Cortez, Timo Fahler, Eamon Ore-Giron, y Star Montana.
    Agosto 25, 2017 – Marzo 18, 2018

    Recepcion de apertura
    Viernes, Agosto 25
    6-9pm en Ballroom Marfa


    Ballroom Marfa se complace en anunciar Tierra. Sangre. Oro., una exhibición envisionada por Rafa Esparza. El programa incluirá nueva instalación, performance y trabajo escultórico de Esparza, acompañado de colaboraciones y contribuciones de los artistas Carmen Argote, Nao Bustamante, Beatriz Corter, Timo Fahler, Eamon Ore-Giron y Star Montana

    El trabajo de Esparza se manifiesta principalmente por medio del performance y la escultura, en un territorio donde los dos medios se combinan y se hace hibrido. El artista usa la construcción de ladrillos de adobe como un proceso centrado en situ como investigación personal, cultural, ecológica y política.

    En residencia en Marfa de junio a agosto, Esarza producirá trabajo nuevo y concebirá una instalación in-situ la cual es particular al paisaje y contexto cultural de la region del Big Bend y el norte de Mexico, donde la construcción de adobe aun prevalece . Para este proyecto Esparza transformara la arquitectura de Ballroom usando ladrillos de adobe los cuales son centrales en su trabajo. Al hacer estas intervenciones, el artista explorara, en sus palabras “ la visibilidad de las personas de color en Marfa” Esparza trabajara junto a su padre, el cual le enseño al artista como fabricar adobe, asi como con personas de su comunidad y artesanos adoberos locales para producir e instalar este proyecto.’

    La arquitectura de adobe de Esparza provee la plataforma para presentaciones de artistas los cuales el ha invitado a Marfa para colaborar con el para “expandir la idea de un laboratorio Café.” Trabajo nuevo y excitante será presentado dentro de las adiciones estructurales a la fachada, galerías y patio de Ballroom. Creando espacios para los “laboratorios de dialogo, pensamiento, trabajo y colaboración con los compañeros artistas de Esparza” Esparza, da alusión y excava la historia del colonialismo; labor y escalas de valor económico; cultura queer y masculinidad; así como legado personal y familiar. El posiciona materiales tradicionales, procesos hereditarios, coreografías efímeras en contra de las estructuras institucionales de la narrativa histórica de la cultura occidental, arte en sitio y performance. La exhibición es una continuación de la misión de Ballroom Marfa para comisionar trabajo de relevancia internacional y performances las cuales responden y asocian con nuestra comunidad y entorno.

    Tierra. Sangre. Oro. es organizada por la curadora y directora interina Laura Copelin

    Rafa Esparza, es un artista multidisciplinario, nacido y criado y actualmente viviendo en Los Ángeles, California. Entrelazado en el cuerpo de trabajo se encuentra su interés en historia, narrativa personal y afinidad. Inspirado por su propia relación con la colonización y las interrumpidas genealogías que vienen a resultado de esta. Usando performance en vivo como su principal forma de investigación, Esparza emplea in-situ, materialidad, y (no)documentación como herramienta principal para interrogar y criticar idelogias de estructuras de poder y binarias que problematizan la “supervivencia” del proceso de la narrativa histórica; así como ámbitos donde las personas son abandonadas para navegar y socializar.

    Esparza ha hecho performance en una diversa variedad de espacios tales como, AIDS Project Los Angeles, Highways Performance Space, REDCAT, Human Resources, SOMArts, Vincent Price Museum, LACE y varios sitios públicos dentro de Los Ángeles. Es becario de Emerging Artist 2014 California Community Foundation Fellowship for Visual Arts, a 2014 Art Matters grantee, y recibió en 2015 un fideicomiso de Rema Hort Mann Foundation Emerging Artist Grant. Esparza fue parte del 2016 Made in L.A. Biennial en the Hammer Museum y exhibirá su trabajo en el 2017 Whitney Biennial. al.