Esperanza Cortés, Canté Jondo/Deep Song (Gallery One)

28 Sep 2019 – 3 Nov 2019

Cost of entry


Smack Mellon

New York
New York, United States


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Colombian-born multidisciplinary artist Esperanza Cortés shares a passion for the mosaic of the Americas, and their ever-evolving confluence of cultures, which informs their folk art traditions, rituals, music, and art. Cortés’s recent mixed media sculptures, installations, site-specific projects, and interventions explore the theme of injustice that is at the root of the predatory gem and mineral excavation industry. Making comparisons between uranium and emeralds, the two minerals look similar; they are beautiful but dangerous in terms of their effect on civil strife. Emerald mining has been an influential factor in the continued colonization of Colombia, having helped to fund the more than 60-year conflict there. Uranium, and its use in atomic bombs, has brought the future of warfare and destruction to an unprecedented level. Although Cortés uses Colombia as an example, situations of violence stemming from the precious gem and mineral industry can be seen in other parts of the world, including Brazil and several nations in Africa. This exhibition makes visible the human cost extracted with these minerals. The work is poetically and intricately crafted to encourage the viewer to reconsider social and historical narratives, especially dealing with the aftermath of colonialism, raising critical questions about the politics of erasure and exclusion.


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