“Fresh from the Studio”: Women & Their Work

Thu Jan 20, 2022
6:00pm CT

Fresh from the Studio

Women & Their Work: Bold about Art

Paula Cordoba, Erica Felicella & Hayley Morrison


Join me for a virtual studio visit on Fresh from the studio, a program by Women & Their Work.

Register at this link.

Artists Erica Felicella, Hayley Morrison, and I will share work in progress, newly finished artworks, and upcoming projects.

Fresh from the Studio invites W&TW artist members to share what they are working on now with you! In this virtual format, artists will share work in progress, newly finished artworks, and recent or upcoming projects. Each presentation will be about 10 minutes with time for your questions and comments afterwards. Fresh from the Studio is your chance to see what is new and hear from contemporary artists. This program is free and open to the public.

“Illumination 2021”, Cameron Art Museum

Cameron Art Museum, 
Wilmington, North Carolina
December 3 – January 9, 2022

Rebirth and Renewal

In the context the exhibition Illumination 2021, artists were encouraged to explore the theme of “rebirth and renewal”. I chose to create a large lantern resembling the shape of a pomegranate. “This fruit had a transcendental meaning in every ancient culture […]. Considered a symbol of death and resurrection, it has a central role in the Greek myth of Persephone.” The piece is titled Thanks to impermanence, everything is possible, after a quote by buddhist monk and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh.

«Art helps us to process collective trauma and find hope – and light – in darkness. Now, over a year into the pandemic, we see our world in a new light. We have found fresh imagination. There are scars, and, for some, there is significant loss. Yet, we look to the next day with an acquired resilience. This year, the seventh for this exhibition, artists are encouraged to explore the theme of rebirth and renewal.» 

Presenting at the Conference “Moving the Centre”, Glasgow University

4 -6 August, 2021

Moving the Centre

Moving the Centre Towards Radical Futures


I am honored to participate in the Cross-Disciplinary Postgraduate Research Conference on Post/Decolonial and Global Studies organized by a group of PhD researchers based at the University of Glasgow.

My presentation «Unruly taste: Decolonizing subjectivities in Visual Arts» will take place on August 6th,  Panel 3C (1.30 pm GTM).

Click here to see the full program.

  • [1.30pm-3.00pm] Panel 3C: Examining Museums and the Visual Arts
    • Decolonizing African Museums: Reimagining the Curation and Conservation of Sacred/Spiritual African Artefacts in Museum Collections (Mabafokeng Hoeane)
    • A Missionary on a Looting Mission: An Interrogation of the Reverend Govan William Robertson ‘Collections’ at the Ditsong: National Museum of Cultural History and Glasgow Museum (Motsane Gertrude Seabela)
    • Unruly Taste: Decolonizing Subjectivities in Visual Arts (Paula Córdoba)

“Big Show”, Lawndale Art Center

Jurado Cecilia Fajardo-Hill
JUNIO 19, 2021 – AGOSTO 14, 2021
John M. O’Quinn Gallery

The Big Show es una ambiciosa convocatoria abierta con jurado, en la que compiten artistas trabajando a un radio de 100 millas de Lawndale, reflejando nuestro compromiso con apoyar a artistas locales y regionales en las distintas etapas de su carrera.

Cecilia Fajardo-Hill es una historiadora de arte y curadora de arte moderno y contemporaneo británica/venezolana, actualmente viviendo en el sur de California. Fajardo-Hill posee un Doctorado en Historia del Arte de University of Essex, Inglaterra, y una Maestría en Historia del Arte del siglo XX de Courtauld Institute of Art, Londres, Inglaterra.

Fajardo-Hill es co-curadora de la futura muestra itinerante XicanXperimental, Phoenix Museum, 2021 y será Fellowship Visiting Research Scholar (Académica Investigadora Invitada) en el Programa de Estudios Latinoamericanos (Program in Latin American Studies, PLAS) y Visiting Lecturer (Catedrática Invitada) en Princeton University, Princeton. Fajardo-Hill es editora de Remains – Tomorrow: Themes in Contemporary Latin American Abstraction, en abstracción latinoamericana post 90´s, 2019, y co-editora de dos tomos de arte de Guatemala de los siglos XX y XXI, una iniciativa Arte GT 20/21, a realizarse en 2020.


“Big Show”, Lawndale Art Center

Juried by Cecilia Fajardo-Hill
JUNE 19, 2021 – AUGUST 14, 2021
John M. O’Quinn Gallery

The Big Show is an ambitious open-call juried competition of artists practicing within a 100-mile radius of Lawndale that reflects our commitment to supporting local and regional artists at various stages in their career. 

Cecilia Fajardo-Hill is a British/Venezuelan art historian and curator in modern and contemporary art, currently based in Southern California. Fajardo-Hill has a PhD in Art History from the University of Essex, England, and an MA in 20th Century Art History from the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, England.

Fajardo-Hill is the co-curator of the upcoming touring exhibition XicanXperimental, Phoenix Museum, 2021, and will be Fellowship Visiting Research Scholar in the Program in Latin American Studies (PLAS) and Visiting Lecturer, Princeton University, Princeton. Fajardo-Hill is the editor of Remains – Tomorrow: Themes in Contemporary Latin American Abstraction, on post 90s abstraction in Latin America, 2019, and the co-editor of two tomes on 20th and 21th – century Guatemalan art, an Arte GT 20/21 initiative, upcoming 2020.


“Texturas Visuales: Una Conversación con Paula Córdoba”, Sculpture Magazine

Texturas Visuales: Una Conversación con Paula Córdoba

“Visual textures: a conversation with Paula Cordoba”, Sculpture Magazine

Texturas Visuales: Una Conversación con Paula Córdoba

March 25, 2021 by María Carolina Baulo

Paula Córdoba, an Argentinian visual artist living in Houston, creates works of art in which she aims to reveal cultural phenomena silenced by Occidental hegemonic thinking. Her installations and objects establish a contrast between large format pieces that take over the space and small works that have aesthetic and physical features associated with a particular type of lace; an elegant, feminine lattice with a textile-like appearance is a leitmotif in all of her work. This contrast is present as much in the artworks’ formal presentation as in their materials, which are in dialogue with the concept that underlies her body of work. With a bachelor’s degree in Museum Studies, a Postgraduate Diploma in Fine Arts, a Postgraduate certificate in Critical Writing and Arts Marketing, and a master’s degree in Artistic and Cultural Heritage in Colonial South America, Paula engages her impressive cultural background to ground her aesthetic choices, playing with a combination of visual textures that nostalgically look to the past while also seeking to disrupt contemporary points of view.

María Carolina Baulo: Once you wrote: “By appropriating classical European ornamental imagery from textiles, façades, and crafts, my work reflects on the traces of colonial discourse and its political implications in South America.” Taking the pieces Through the Veins of History, Past and Present Intertwine and Neither Beginning nor End as examples, I would like you to elaborate on how you visually represent this concept that seems to be at the center of your creative exploration.

Paula Córdoba: First, I would like to thank you, María Carolina, for the opportunity to speak with you about my work and for sharing our exchange with Sculpture’s readers. In the case of the works you mentioned, the European ornamental elements are formally inspired by a Spanish handmade lace commonly known as “Tenerife lace.” This textile was introduced to several settlements in colonial South America; initially, its technique was taught and reproduced, but later, over time, it was modified and acquired its own identity in the hands of local weavers. This transformation can be observed in the new use of color, rich and bold in its palette, as well as in the introduction of local iconography, namely animal and floral motifs from the region. The most iconic example of these is ñanduty, a type of lace particular to and emblematic of the area known today as Paraguay. Even though, in terms of its formal aspect, I chose to keep the traditional structure of the textile, which is characterized by the repetition of sun motifs, my introduction of colors is an homage to transculturation. In the process of making these works, which escalated in size (so far the largest in the series is Neither Beginning nor End, which measures 95 x 74 inches), I started to reappropriate these traditional motifs, reinterpreting them as “rhizomes.” The importance of this motif lies in my reading of it as a symbol of cultural resistance. According to Deleuze, the rhizome is a web of elements that are without hierarchies and that, connected and interdependent, honor the “space in-between.” Therefore, the sense of resistance that I assign to the motif derives from its multiplicity and simultaneity, representing a silent yet powerful force that, thanks to its net-like structure and lack of a single identifiable core, can defy and oppose a greater force, in this case hegemonic power. Outside of this particular series, my inspiration usually comes from the designs on different types of textiles and on the sculptural reliefs of architectonic facades with classical ornamentation: acanthus leaves, flower motifs, and volutes. Within these designs, elements that recall the architecture of Buenos Aires appear, referencing Eclecticism, an architectural style of the late XIX and early XIX centuries. The net-like structure alludes to the social fabric, representing culture as a series of interconnections and interdependencies. The void spaces aim to echo the histories silenced in the context of power struggles.

MCB: How do you think your broad academic background influences your artistic practice?

PC: I consider my artistic production very much linked to my studies in other fields; these studies have given me conceptual tools that support and shape my visual discourse. I have always had a curiosity for understanding the drivers of cultural processes, the concept of “identity” as a social construction, and this construct’s relationship with the intangible and tangible heritage of a society. In particular, my initial questions tried to comprehend our positioning as Latin Americans and our conflicts with Europe and its colonial legacy with respect to our identities, politics, and epistemologies. Born and raised in Buenos Aires, an especially Eurocentric culture, these questions only multiplied. Even the city’s nickname “The Paris of South America” exemplifies the ubiquity of the narratives that express an identification with Europe’s legacy while perceiving the “Latin American” as something foreign, as a way of manifesting Otherness. During my academic studies, some lecturers acknowledged the need to question the supposed universality from which we conceive of Europe as the center of all knowledge; however, it is evident that Eurocentrism runs through not only art history, museology, and cultural studies but all disciplines and imposes pedagogic discourses and aesthetic values that pretend to construct a homogenous worldview.

My interest in these subjects led me to pursue a master’s degree in Artistic and Cultural Heritage in Colonial South America at UBA (Universidad de Buenos Aires); this degree enabled me to not only explore the historical processes and manifestations of colonialism but also analyze the bases that legitimized the colonial regime. Thanks to these studies, I gained knowledge of authors like Walter Mignolo, Enrique Dussel, and Nelson-Maldonado Torres, among others, who propose “decolonization” as a “project” or “turn” that, even if it is always inconclusive, provides the conceptual tools for us to question our perspectives of the world and operate within our respective fields of knowledge. Occidental thinking is characterized by conceiving of the world as binary constructions, categorizations that survive in cultures today and are manifested by social issues such as racism and gender inequality. Considering the arts as an engine for transformation, I am interested in adopting a decolonial approach to overcome these realities. The crossovers between art and cultural studies make research an important part of my work as an artist. I am interested in continuing to explore these theories and believe my work to be within “decolonial aesthetics.” In my artistic production, I aim to integrate disciplines and to interlace my themes of interest with my experience as a South American woman, thereby expressing subtle worlds, the establishment of interrelations, the possibility of integration, and the surmounting of dichotomies.

MBC: What is the importance of materiality and visual texture in your work and how do you choose your materials?

PC: Materiality is a fundamental aspect of my work. A few years ago, I started experimenting with polyethylene, which I modeled with heat to create “shells.” In these works, I started to demonstrate the duality between negative and positive space. Through experimentation, I finally identified (I would say that I fell in love!) with a type of resin that is very unique with regard to its flexibility and softness. In addition, the possibility of coloring and working this resin as either a translucid or a matte material is another of its appealing traits. From its particular artificiality, I find that it appeals to the senses, especially the touch, at the same time that it allows me to achieve a particular flow, displaying characteristics traditionally associated with the organic. My selection of this inorganic material is based on its being a “cultural” product, the result of technological development, and a sign of our times. It makes me think of the “social” constructions, the production processes, that have gone through many changes between modernity and the present. The visual textures achieved with the soft resin often mirror the aesthetic of handmade lace, though the large scale of the resin art objects contrasts with the smallness of the textiles; to me, these textures suggest a sign of transitoriness that evokes different forms of making and living, thereby creating a bridge between the past and the present. Referring to the hyper-acceleration of life today, the flexible resin expresses itself through its fluidity and the speed with which I must work with it, given its short curing time.

MCB: Taking as an example some of your installations, such as Cultural Wounds and Infinite Circles, let us address the theme of space in relation to the viewer. I would like you to elaborate in detail, step-by-step, on your work process, using examples of your choice.

PC: In the works you mentioned, as in others, I am very interested in guiding the sight towards the perception of the space “in-between”—between the space created by the “threads” of the weave and the “other space” of the room, which suggests and incorporates immaterially through the staging of the installation and the use of lighting, including the shadows cast by the pieces. With respect to my creative process, I tend to start with research, exploring the concepts in which I am interested in a given series. Going back to the formal aspect, I often get inspiration from objects in museum repositories and from architecture; in these cases, I do an initial search that involves both antique textile collections and photography archives. Later, I look for a correlation between the two, which slowly translates into the visual discourse that I start developing while thinking through my reappropriation of the “design,” including the format, scale, and palette of my work, and my treatment of the material. Given the particularities of working with soft epoxy-resin—a common thread in my work—I experimented and developed my own technique that fulfills my creative and conceptual interests. In my work process, I cross the boundaries between disciplines: even though printmaking techniques are present in almost all of my works that get their texture from relief and bas-relief, some of them have a flow and a particular use of color that make them closer to painting; likewise, the use of the line and the relevance it acquires in other works recalls the language of drawing. However, since projection in space is an important part of my exploration, I prefer to define my works as textural sculptures or sculptural patterns. In terms of my manual process specifically, for each work I make a sort of one-time mold in which I also define the bas-relief textures in each area. Also, in terms of pouring the material, I usually work in several layers in which I play with the transparency of each color and the thickness’ level. The resin dictates the timing, requiring me, on occasion, to work long hours to ensure that the layers adhere to one another but also that each layer is sufficiently cured so that it does not blend with the previous one.

MCB: The series Oblivion introduces another key subject in your work: memory. And the interesting thing is that you also link it to lace as a symbolic motif. I am not referring necessarily to the textile lace but to the weave, the pattern, the design, and its symbolism. Tell us about these works.

PC: Indeed, memory is very important within my creative universe because it bridges the subjects that I am attracted to from a rational perspective—that is, those we spoke about at the beginning—with my personal life, namely the experiences that have made these concepts and fields of study relevant to me. With regard to my subjectivity as a “porteña” (as we call the inhabitants of Buenos Aires), memory and nostalgia play a major role in shaping our identity. Also, in terms of sound, this identity has been beautifully expressed through the fusion of musical genres that gave rise to tango. The city’s architecture cohabits with traces of the belle époque, which are especially iconic in the facades’ ornamentation. Calling the city “The Paris of South America,” as I mentioned earlier, has “condemned” us in a way to look back to a very idealized past. Without getting into details, these vestiges of the past reveal how and from where we constructed our identity as a society and, at the same time, suggest how postcolonialism manifests itself in Buenos Aires. Since I was little, my gaze has lingered on the ornamental details of old buildings. From then on, I have been attracted to the city’s faded glamour, which is much more noticeable in the southern neighborhoods, where the traditional houses are far—temporally and materially—from the magnificence that they had at the beginning of the 20th century. Finally, this is the reason why, in addition to the academic meaning of the term “in-between,” I find its strongly evocative and poetic qualities very appealing. They say that memory is a paradox that involves both remembering and forgetting; the duality of the weave expresses this idea. The open spaces long to be “filled” by the viewer’s sensations and experiences in a broad sense, honoring forgotten voices and mementos, scents, etc.

MCB: Considering that we are starting the year 2021, with all the changes that we have been through during the Covid-19 pandemic, how do you see your immediate future?

PC: In the first part of the year, the virtual mode will allow me to stay connected with peers from other regions and participate in activities created and promoted in this context. Even though our immediate future is still uncertain, I have hopes that we will resume in-person activities in the last third of 2021 and am working with this in mind. For now, having only just started the year, I will participate in the digital conference “Rethinking Postcolonial Europe: Moving Identities, Changing Subjectivities” organized by Justus-Liebig-University Giessen (Germany). This opportunity is possible for me because of the digital format the conference took this year, although this is actually the eighth forum in “Postcolonial Narrations” organized by the Postgraduate Center for the Study of Culture. There, I will present my work’s approach to decolonial subjects and will elaborate on how the arts can operate from the symbolic and imaginary in reality and call on viewers to consider these issues. I am interested in diving deeper into these lines of work and building a network with other artists and art theorists who share these interests in order to work on future exchanges, collaborations, and exhibition projects.

Texturas Visuales: Una Conversación con Paula Córdoba

“Withstand: Latinx Art in Times of Conflict”, Holocaust Museum Houston

30 de Abril – 17 de Octubre, 2021

(Extracto del Boletín de Prensa)

Holocaust Museum Houston (HMH) abrirá su primera exhibición con jurado en su edificio ampliado el 30 de abril de 2021. Withstand: Latinx Art in Times of Conflict (Resistir: Arte Latinx en Tiempos de Conflictoexplorará temas de justicia social, y derechos humanos a través de 100 obras de artistas latinxs de Houston. La exhibición multimedia será una plataforma que examina los conflictos que impactan nuestra comunidad, fomentando el diálogo en problemáticas complejas, y empoderando el cambio social a través del arte.

“Cuando lanzamos la convocatoria a los artistas latinxs para sumarlos en la conversación del arte como catalizador de cambio, supimos que la vibrante comunidad artística de Houston se nos uniría en esta causa,” dijo HMH CEO Dr. Kelly J. Zúñiga. “Fuimos sobrepasados por las aplicaciones y estamos deleitados de exhibir el trabajo de artistas tan talentosos.”

El arte expuesto en la muestra incluye varios subtemas, incluyendo «relaciones de borde», roles de género, violencia doméstica, la experiencia del inmigrante y conflictos sociales y políticos. Withstand está curada por Gabriela Magana y Rosa Orlando. Nacida y criada en Mexico, Magana is una artista y curadora residente en Houston. Graduada de una Licenciatura en Pintura de University of St. Thomas Houston y actualmente realizando una Maestría en Liderazgo de las Artes en University of Houston. De Venezuela, Orlando es una especialista en museos con un conocimiento extensivo en historia del arte. Posee más de 15 años de experiencia en el manejo de colecciones de arte, como también una importante trayectoria en diseño y planeamiento de exhibiciones.

Dada la variedad de medios y formatos de las 100 piezas exhibidas, Withstand: Latinx Art in Times of Conflict estará abierta al público desde el 30 de abril hasta el 17 de octubre de 2021, las galerías del museo Mincberg Gallery y Spira Central Gallery, ubicándose las obras escultóricas en la galería adyacente, Lester and Sue Smith Human Rights Gallery. Para más información visitar hmh.org/Withstand. La entrada a la exhibición está incluída con la entrada general del Museo. Los tickets se pueden adquirir online en hmh.org/tickets.

United Airlines, la aerolínea oficial del Holocaust Museum Houston es el socio sponsor de la exhibición.

Entre los sponsors principales se incluyen Ronald Grabois Family Fund, B.J. Herz in memory of Clint Willour, The Lewis and Joan Lowenstein Foundation y Sterling Family Foundation.

“Withstand: Latinx Art in Times of Conflict”, Holocaust Museum Houston

April 30 – October 17, 2021

(Extract from Press Release)

“Holocaust Museum Houston (HMH) will open its first juried exhibition in its expanded building on April 30, 2021. Withstand: Latinx Art in Times of Conflict will explore themes of social justice and human rights through 100 artworks of Houston Latinx artists. The multi-media exhibition will be a platform that examines issues that impact the community, fosters dialogue on difficult questions, and ultimately empowers social change through art.

“When we put out the call to Latinx artists to join the conversation on art as a catalyst of change, we knew Houston’s vibrant art community would show up in force,” said HMH CEO Dr. Kelly J. Zúñiga. “We were overwhelmed with submissions and are delighted to feature the artwork of such talented artists.”

The art featured in the exhibition includes several themes of focus including border relations, gender roles, domestic violence, the immigrant experience and social and political turmoil. Withstand is curated by Gabriela Magana and Rosa Ana Orlando. Born and raised in Mexico, Magana is an artist and curator based in Houston. She holds a BA in Painting from the University of St. Thomas Houston, and is currently working on a MA in Arts Leadership from the University of Houston.  From Venezuela, Orlando is a museum specialist with extensive knowledge of art history. She has more than 15 years of experience in art collection management, as well as a strong background in exhibition planning and design.

Due to the 100-piece size of the multi-media exhibition, Withstand: Latinx Art in Times of Conflict will be on view from April 30 through October 17, 2021 in the Museum’s Mincberg Gallery and Spira Central Gallery, with sculptures located in the adjacent Lester and Sue Smith Human Rights Gallery. For more information on the exhibition visit hmh.org/Withstand. Entrance to this exhibition is included in general admission. Tickets must be purchased online at hmh.org/tickets.

United Airlines, the official airline of Holocaust Museum Houston, is the partner sponsor of the exhibition. Lead sponsors include the Ronald Grabois Family Fund, B.J. Herz in memory of Clint Willour, The Lewis and Joan Lowenstein Foundation and the Sterling Family Foundation.

Presentando en la Conferencia «Repensando la Europa Postcolonial: Identidades Fluidas, Subjetividades Cambiantes», Justus Liebig University Giessen

8th Foro de Postgrado Narraciones Postcoloniales, Centro Internacional de Graduados para el Estudio de la Cultura, Conferencia Digital, 10 -12 Febrero 2021

Pensar «Europa» como una idea, un espacio geográfico y una fuerza política es inseparable de reflexionar sobre su historia imperialista, sus legados postcoloniales y cuestionamientos internos y externos, centro y periferia, uno mismo y el Otro. Las migraciones actuales y la llamada «crisis de refugiados» no solo impulsa una percepción del poder jerárquico que divide al mundo entre «Occidente» y «el resto» sino que también implica nuevos discursos respecto a lo nacional, identidad y pertenencia. El resurgimiento del populismo y el racismo, conectado al crecimiento de partidos de derecha en varios Estados europeos, resultan un recordatorio inquietante de la continua influencia de las ideas hegemónicas del «excepcionalismo» europeo y la superioridad cultural. Las inequidades globales persisten y la libertad de movimiento se mantiene relacionada al lugar de origen de cada uno. Al mismo tiempo, sin embargo, las prácticas de resistencia y emancipación en las organizaciones autoconvocadas de «migrantes/gente negra y de color» (BPoC) reimaginan Europa como un espacio entrelazado (Randeria 1999) que fue y es hogar de una población diversa. Las nociones de nación y cultura, como también de identidad y subjectividad han atravesado cambios dramáticos, vívidamente reflejados en el terreno de las artes, literatura, media, ley y política. Investigando estas dinámicas actuales desde una perspectiva post/decolonial es, por tanto, crucial para entender la Europa contemporánea como un espacio de contradicciones y disputas. (https://www.uni-giessen.de)


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