January 20, 2020

Carlos Motta
We The Enemy

Institute of the Arts and Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz

Carlos Motta, A Narrow Gate Through Which God Could Enter, from Corpo Fechado–A Devil's Work (video still), 2018. Courtesy of the artist and P.P.O.W., New York.

The Institute of the Arts and Sciences (IAS) and the Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery at UC Santa Cruz are pleased to present Carlos Motta: We The Enemy, the West Coast premiere solo exhibition by the internationally acclaimed artist.

We The Enemy features recent works that question—and challenge—how productions of difference propel social oppression. With video installation, performance documentation, and works in other media, We The Enemy tracks the persecution of LGBTQIA+ individuals from ecclesiastical colonialism in the Americas to current border politics and through the history of medical research and HIV/AIDS. We The Enemy documents these repressed histories to form a powerful record of rising resistance.

More writing on We The Enemy can be found here.

To accompany We The Enemy, Carlos Motta and Rachel Nelson have organized a 2-day symposium January 24, 2020 at UC Santa Cruz and January 25, 2020 at SFMOMA, where Motta also has work on display.* Bodies at the Borders brings together scholars, activists, artists, filmmakers, and poets to engage the politics of borders as they intersect with issues of sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, and race.

*Carlos Motta’s new 4-channel video installation on LGBTQIA+ Dreamers, We Got Each Other’s Back—Chapter 1: Narrative Shifter: A Portrait of Julio Salgado, is on view as part of Soft Power at SFMOMA October 26–February 17, 2020.

Carlos Motta (b. 1978) was born in Bogotá, Colombia and lives and works in New York City. Motta has been the subject of survey exhibitions including at the Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellín, Colombia, Matucana 100, Santiago, Chile, and Röda Sten Konsthall, Göteborg, Sweden. His work is in the permanent collections of the The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Guggenheim Museum, New York; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Barcelona; and Museo de Arte de Banco de la República, Bogotá, among others.His solo exhibitions include Galeria Vermelho, São Paulo (2019); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2017); Pérez Art Museum, Miami (2016); Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (2016); PinchukArtCentre, Kiev (2015); Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros, Mexico City (2013); New Museum, New York (2012); MoMA PS1, New York (2009); and Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia (2009). Motta participated in 32 Bienal de São Paulo (2016); X Gwangju Biennale (2014); and X Lyon Biennale (2010). His films have been screened at the Rotterdam Film Festival (2016, 2010); Toronto International Film Festival (2013); and Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur (2016); among others. Motta has been awarded the Vilcek Foundation's Prize for Creative Promise (2017); the PinchukArtCentre's Future Generation Art Prize (2014); and a Guggenheim Fellowship (2008).

Collaborators and sponsors for Carlos Motta: We The Enemy and related events include SFMOMA, UCSC Center for Cultural Studies, Lionel Cantú Queer Resource Center, El Centro: Chicanx Latinx Resource, and UCSC Arts Division. Carlos Motta: We The Enemy has been generously funded by the Nion McEvoy Family Fund, Rowland and Pat Rebele, and annual donors to the Institute of the Arts and Sciences and the Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery.

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