Carlos Motta: Your Monsters, Our Idols
The Wex presents a major exhibition of Columbian-born, New York-based artist Carlos Motta’s interdisciplinary and multimedia work including the world premiere of his first multichannel sound installation that is supported by a Wex Artist Residency Award.
Motta describes himself as “an unofficial historian of untold narratives and an archivist of repressed histories.” Your Monsters, Our Idols features a selection of photographs and videos that expose how the lives and legacies of queer and marginalized people have been overly determined by colonialism and structures of power, while revealing counter narratives and reclaiming difference, transgression, and monstrosity. Works from Motta’s ongoing “Democracy Cycle”—the acclaimed installation We Who Feel Differently (2012), and the recent four-channel video portrait of undocumented artist Julio Salgado, We Got Each Other’s Back (2019)—present critical perspectives on democracy and citizenship through the lens queer politics and activism today.
Motta’s residency project considers the stakes of changing the name of Columbus, Ohio, the largest city in the world named for the Italian explorer. Inspired by the global uprisings in 2020, the immersive sound installation contends with the politics of patriarchal and colonial commemoration, and explores how symbolic representation is intertwined with the present-day process of attaining radical equity, inclusive representation, and reparative justice for marginalized communities.
Curators: Lucy I. Zimmerman, Associate Curator of Exhibitions with support from Indigo Gonzales, Exhibition Research Assistant, and Arielle Irizarry, Graduate Curatorial Intern
Carlos Motta, Corpo Fechado (The Devil’s Work), 2018. HD video with color and sound, 24 min 47 sec. Courtesy of EGEAC/Galerias Municipais. Photo by Bruno Lopes