press release

Candelilla, Coatlicue, and the Breathing Machine
April 5–September 8, 2019
Opening reception: April 5, 6–9pm, with a performance by Rob Mazurek at 8pm

Beatriz Cortez, Candice Lin, and Fernando Palma Rodríguez

Candelilla, Coatlicue, and the Breathing Machine is an exhibition with new and existing work by Beatriz Cortez, Candice Lin, and Fernando Palma Rodríguez. The title refers to a facet of each artist's contribution to the show, which range from wax pours to robotic storytellers to provisional shelters and beyond.

The installations and objects from these three artists weave together a multivalent conversation about the animate qualities of land; simultaneities of the past, present and future; as well as human and non-human migrations, cross-contamination, and porousness—all while forwarding their own individual investigations. Each artist spent time in Marfa and the Big Bend and these particular experiences are reflected in various aspects of the commissioned pieces.

New drawings from Candice Lin explore flora common in the high desert–cholla, creosote, ocotillo, among others–and were produced after the artist ingested tinctures she made from these plants. Lin will also create an immersive new installation conceived from her research on the biopolitics of the candelilla plant, whose distribution straddles the lower altitudes of the nearby US/Mexico border region.

Fernando Palma Rodríguez will make several new "mechatronic" sculptures that address intersecting lands and histories in Texas and Mexico through choreographed spatial storytelling. These new pieces will be accompanied by existing kinetic works that will be re-programmed to respond both to elements in the gallery and to elements farther afield in the landscape.

A new outdoor installation by Beatriz Cortez examines different versions of modernity, nomadic architectures, and the future imaginary via geodesic domes constructed from chain link, folded metal, and scrapped car hoods. Cortez will also fabricate a new machine for the exhibition that marshals her skills with metalwork and engineering to create a hypocycloidal mechanism that breathes, thinking about plant respiration and our interconnectivity through the atmosphere.

Altogether the exhibition puts these three important artists and their distinct bodies of work in conversation with and about lands, plants, and histories. It represents a continued engagement with Cortez and Lin’s work, which has been threaded through Ballroom's recent exhibitions and publications. Candelilla, Coatlicue, and the Breathing Machine facilitates the production of a slate of new objects and installations via Ballroom’s commissions, supporting new art, ideas and relationships.

The exhibition is organized by Director & Curator Laura Copelin.

Candelilla, Coatlicue, and the Breathing Machine is made possible by the generous support of Kenneth Bauso; The Brown Foundation Inc.; City of Marfa; Fairfax Dorn & Marc Glimcher; Kristina & Jeff Fort; Lebermann Foundation; Virginia Lebermann & Family; George S. Loening; Max Mara; National Endowment for the Arts; Texas Commission of the Arts; the Ballroom Marfa Board of Trustees; the Ballroom Marfa International Surf Club; and Ballroom Marfa members.