The Border Project Space is pleased to present Mineral Steam, a duo exhibition with works by artists Esperanza Cortés and Michael Pribich, curated by Jamie Martinez, from June 21 to July 21, 2019. The opening reception will be on June 21 from 6 – 8:30 pm.
The multidisciplinary artists and couple utilize decorative and utilitarian materials as a means to evocatively scrutinize the conditions and history of labor—focusing on the ramifications and issues of identity, race and class. With such themes in common, the kinship between the artists captures the zeitgeist of the social climate in regards to evaluating and critiquing the past and its influence on the present.
Esperanza Cortés poetically and intricately creates works that encourage viewers to reconsider historical narratives, cemented by society, by raising questions about the politics of erasure, concealment, oppression and exploitation under the realm of Colonialism. Using music and fragments of history as departure points, Cortés’s process allows for her intuitions and insights to lead towards an investigation of a myriad of contemplations which then resolve and come into fruition as physical sculptures. Her varied, technical methods in conjunction with reworked found objects impregnated with cultural symbols, evidence her ability to prolifically produce pieces that act as an intimate repository for individual and collective memories.
Michael Pribich ponders the multiple strategies that individuals use in order to suspend adversity with the hopes of gaining agency and success. His process-oriented approach conceptually links labor and alternative perspectives driven by notions of displacement, colonialism and patriarchy. For many years Michael Pribich has utilized the symbolic content of cooking pots, salt, human hair, and medicine balls to refer to the eternal need for labor.
Esperanza Cortés is a Colombian born multidisciplinary artist based in New York City. Cortés has been exhibited nationally in galleries and museums including The Neuberger Museum of Art, Bronx Museum of Art, Queens Museum, El Museo Del Barrio, MoMA PS1, Socrates Sculpture Park, The Mexi-Arte Museum and The Cleveland Art Museum. Internationally, Cortes has also exhibited in Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Japan, Mexico, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Spain and Greece.
Cortés is a recipient of fellowships and grants including the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship: BRIC Media Arts Fellowship: Museum of Arts and Design, Artist Studios Residency: Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Grant: Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant: and Puffin Foundation Grant. Cortés’s work is in private and public collections including the American Embassy in Monterey, Mexico.
Michael Pribich was born and raised in Northern California. He lives in New York City with his wife Esperanza Cortes. He has an MFA degree from Hunter College, NYC and a Bachelors degree from California State University Sacramento. His work uses labor to address themes of displacement and migration in both rural and urban settings. He explores the idea that labor can be viewed as cultural production, resulting in an expanded social space.
He has completed public art projects with the Public Works departments in Sacramento and Woodland, California. Recent projects and exhibitions include Rishikesh, India in 2019, Tajikistan, Guadalajara, Hong Kong, Project Row HousesHouston, Cuchifritos Gallery, NY, Webb School, Knoxville, Tn. Group exhibitions at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, Mocad, Detroit, Orange County Cultural Center and Flux Art Fair, NY. He has been awarded a Pollock Krasner Grant, and received a Fulbright nomination to Macedonia.
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