Carlos Motta at Pérez Art Museum Miami
Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) presents Histories for the Future, an exhibition showcasing works by Carlos Motta, curated by María Elena Ortiz, opening on July 15, 2016.
Histories for the Future explores ideas of gender, sexuality, and violence through a series of works cited in Latin America. Including four videos and an installation of 20 miniature sculptures, this exhibition takes the viewer back to the time of the conquest of the Americas (1492–1898), when people were brutally condemned for engaging in non-normative sexual practices such as sodomy, masturbation, and zoophilia. In the videosDeseos (2015) and the Nefandus Trilogy (2013), Motta creates narratives inspired by real-life accounts of people who were persecuted for their sexual orientations. A related sculptural installation titled Towards a Homoerotic Historiography (2014) investigates the relationship between hetero-dominated narratives and alternative sexual expressions. Providing insights on the construction of sexual and gender identities within colonial societies, Histories for the Future offers alternative stories of sex, gender, and violence through an expansive approach that recognizes the plurality of human sexuality in different geographic and cultural contexts.
In this exhibition, Motta advocates for a revision of history, attempting to do his part to fill in the blanks left in the official historical record. Uninterested in creating an archive of victims or a utopian vision of the past, the artist instrumentalizes multiple voices, including perspectives from indigenous people alongside the already well-recorded history of religious dominance and conquest. Relying on strategies both of documentary practice and fiction to create new narratives that reflect the plurality of human sexual identities, Motta also exposes the cartographies of oppression under totalitarian ideologies that do not account or allow for difference.
The exhibition is accompanied by a one-day symposium on September 23, 2016, titled "Nefandus: Colonial Sexual Alterity and Histories for the Future," conceptualized by Pablo Bedoya and Carlos Motta. Histories for the Future is curated by María Elena Ortiz and on view at PAMM until January 15, 2017.