The Border Project Space is pleased to present On the Shoulders of Giants, an international, mixed-media group exhibition featuring Mauricio Cortes, Óscar Moisés Díaz, Adriana Furlong, and Alva Mooses. On the Shoulders of Giants is curated by Jamie Martinez and Raul Zamudio. The show runs from August 2 to August 25th with an opening reception on August 2 from 7-9 pm.
The exhibition’s title is borrowed from a well-known metaphor first popularized by Isaac Newton, but an earlier reference comes from the twelfth-century Neo-Platonic philosopher Bernard of Chartres. Bernard is attributed with the phrase “that we are…perched on the shoulders of giants, and thus we are able to see more and farther….And this is…because we are carried aloft and elevated by the giants.”:
On the Shoulders of Giants highlights how the exhibiting artists are inspired by their histories and artists that preceded them, as if they were “perched on the shoulders of giants and able to see more and farther….” The artists also address a contemporary America situated where the past cannot be easily resolved and the future remains uncertain in sustaining the American ideals of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all within its current, contested socio-political climate. The artworks address this via a myriad of issues of a topical, historical, and even personal nature. Yet even with the latter category, the political is also poetically and subtly embedded.
Adriana Furlong incorporates genealogical elements in a modus operandi entailing a process of image transference onto canvas, which is then intervened with pigments creating a host of formal dichotomies including found/created materials, figuration/abstraction, and family photographs with that of strangers. Also working with the familial albeit it within conceptual architectural registers, is Alva Mooses’ se entra bailando / you enter dancing (2019), looks to the site of the Paricutín volcano in Michoacán, Mexico and consists of cement cast forms based on corn forms, candles, and other objects. Mauricio Cortes’ “43” is composed of 43 stacked plaster slabs. The process to generate the image on the slab is a mono-printing technique that uses an etched copper plate, inked with additional painterly marks and then submerged in wet plaster within a shallow frame. This project was made in reaction to the mass kidnapping of 43 students in Iguala Mexico in 2014. Rounding out the exhibition is a video performance by Óscar Moisés Díaz titled Mal de Amores (Mercedes) (2015). The performance, which was originally done in The Queens Museum includes an eponymous Salvadoran ritual that incorporates soil, a calling card and audio recording of the call between the artist and his sister. The catharsis of their communication cannot be understated; for the artist has not seen his sister who lives in El Salvador in 17 years due to the Civil War and the refugee crisis created from that as well as other factors; a life and death Salvadoran migrant dilemma currently unfolding at the US/Mexico border and used as ideological fodder for right-wing and xenophobic politics.
Alva Mooses (b. Chicago) is a Mexican-American artist based in New York. She received her BFA from The Cooper Union and her MFA from Yale University. Recent exhibitions include: Buen Vivir/Vivir Bien at the Mexic-Arte Museum (Austin, Texas), Retrato de un Paisaje at Museo Sívori (Buenos Aires, Argentina), A Day’s Dust at Studio17 (Stavanger, Norway), and Internalized Borders at John Jay College of Criminal Justice (NYC), Grupo <11> Instituto Cervantes (NYC), Portrait of a Landscape at the Shirley Fiterman Art Center (NYC), Local Metrics at the Logan Center for the Arts (Chicago), among others. She has completed residencies at The University of Chicago, Columbia College, Tou Trykk in Stavanger, Norway, MAG in Saltillo, Mexico, the Davidoff Art Initiative in the Dominican Republic, and Casa Wabi, Oaxaca, Mexico. Alva is a recipient of a Yale University Schoelkopf Traveling Fellowship, the Rema Hort Mann Community Engagement Grant and UChicago Arts Grant and a 2019 Socrates Sculpture Park Fellowship.
Mauricio Cortes Ortega is a Mexican-American multidisciplinary artist based in New York. His work explores Latin American colonial history through painting and sculpture. He is interested in precious objects like textiles and crowns with complex trajectories as they relate to power and splendor. He holds degrees from The Cooper Union (B.F.A) and the Yale School of Art (M.F.A). Mauricio has held numerous fellowships and residencies; he was a fellow of the 39th cycle of the Artist in the Marketplace program (AIM) at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, in 2018 he was an artist resident at Museo Arte Grafica in Saltillo Mexico, and the Smelser Vallion Visiting Artist at the Doel Reed Art Center in New Mexico. He was a recipient of the Rema Hort Mann Foundation Artist Community Grant in 2017, the Schell Center for International Human Rights Travel fellowship (Yale Law School) in 2015 and the Jóvenes Creadores Fellowship (Mexican National Council for Culture and Arts) in 2014. During his time at The Cooper Union, he was awarded the Menschel Travel Fellowship Award and the Ellen Battell Stoeckel Painting Fellowship (Norfolk Yale School of Art).
Óscar Díaz (b. 1993, El Salvador) is a multidisciplinary artist, curator, and writer based in New York City. Recent exhibitions include Under a Dismal Boston Skyline at Boston University,
Re: Construcción at Western Regional Museum, El Salvador, Sonora for the X Biennial of
Central America, a solo show at the Museum of Contemporary Art & Design, Costa Rica,
PERFORMEANDO at the Queens Museum, The Intangible to Tangible at Kunstraum
Walcheturm in Zürich, Switzerland and Espacio Intermedial for The International Film of San
Salvador. They’ve been a recipient of grants and art residencies from the Y.ES Foundation,
BRIC, and The Arc.
Adriana Furlong (b. 1998, New York City) is a citizen of Ireland and the U.S. now based in Brooklyn, NY. Her multimedia pieces on immigration have been featured in both Musée Magazine and Teeth Magazine. She has work in a private collection in Shanghai, will be shown in a gallery there in 2020, and has received a painting residency at the Bullough Foundation in Virginia. She is a student in the Fine Arts Program at the Parsons School of Design.
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