Carlos Motta, Artist


Solo Exhibition | Carlos Motta, Réquiem, MALBA, Buenos Aires, October 14, 2016-Feb 19, 2017

October 7, 2016



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Review | Carlos Motta, ‘Deviations’ By Holland Cotter, New York Times, May 12, 2016

May 20, 2016


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Review | Carlos Motta: Deviations at P.P.O.W Gallery, ARTE FUSE, May 13, 2016

May 19, 2016


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Review | X-Ray of Civilization: Beyond Biopolitics in Carlos Motta’s “Deviations” filthy dreams

May 8, 2016

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Review | Artforum’s Critic’s Picks, May 6, 2016

May 7, 2016

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Interview | Carlos Motta by Cat Tyc, Bomb Magazine, May 6, 2016

May 7, 2016



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Group Exhibition | Ua numi le fau, Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne, May 6- June 8. 2016

April 24, 2016

Ua numi le fau
Gertrude Contemporary
Next Wave Festival

Curated by Léuli Eshraghi (SAM/IRN/VIC)

Featuring Atong Atem (SSD/VIC), Dale Harding (Bidjara/ Ghungalu/Garingbal/QLD), Yuki Kihara (SAM/JPN/NZ), Carlos Motta (COL/USA), Frédéric Nauczyciel (FRA) and Mandy Nicholson (Wurundjeri/VIC)

Six leading local and international artists draw on resurgent First Nations and diasporic knowledges in Ua numi le fau, an exhibition project asserting sovereign futures through performance video, photography and textiles.

The title is a Sāmoan expression that literally means ‘the string tying the lupe pigeon is entangled’, but is used metaphorically to explain an affair that is complicated and difficult. Bodies and kinships are explored through sexuality, spirituality and ecology in this exhibition, which will be uniquely articulated in multiple languages and mediums. Ua numi le fau frames material presences and politics in art, performance and text from Fitzroy, Collingwood and Abbotsford in Wurundjeri territory, to the world beyond.

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Group Exhibition | “Borders, Barriers, Walls” at Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA), Melbourne, April 30-July 2, 2016

April 22, 2016

Borders, Barriers, Walls

Francis E. Parker

Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Allora & Calzadilla, Karen Black, Gunter Christmann, Jin Chul Kyu, Guan Wei, Shilpa Gupta, Khaled Hourani, Raafat Ishak, Isaac Julien, Sonia Leber & David Chesworth, Kai Löffelbein, Ricky Maynard, Carlos Motta, Tony Schwensen, Amy Spiers & Catherine Ryan, Danae Stratou and Judy Watson

Borders, barriers and walls delineate this group exhibition of Australian and international artists. It reflects on how these contested and complex forms shape the world, producing situations of separation, isolation or thwarted passage across the globe. Whether they be physical constructions, psychological constructs or natural defences, the exhibition considers the forces by which these divides are either upheld or breached. Borders, Barriers, Walls features more than thirty artworks ranging from video installation, painting, photography and sculpture. The exhibition includes a new commission by local artists Amy Spiers and Catherine Ryan.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue featuring commissioned essays by Professor Gillian Triggs, President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, and Yanis Varoufakis, founding member of the Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 and former Greek finance minister, along with a curatorial overview by Francis E. Parker.

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Solo Exhibition | Deviations at PPOW Gallery, April 21-May 21, 2016

April 22, 2016

Untitled (July_2_1998_2)Carlos Motta

April 21 – May 21, 2016
Opening Reception: Thursday, April 21, 6-8 PM

Video plays on loop every half hour starting at 10:00 AM

Catalog Available with Essay by David Getsy, Goldabelle McComb Finn Distinguished Professor of Art History at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago

P•P•O•W is pleased to announce Deviations a solo exhibition by Carlos Motta, the artist’s first exhibition with the gallery. An internationally renowned artist whose work has been on view at notable museums and biennials around the world, this exhibition marks his first major gallery exhibition in New York. Motta is a multi-disciplinary artist who creates installations, films, photographs and sculptures that take as their subject political and historical events, which Motta explores from unexpected angles, proposing new readings and counter-narratives. Interested in gender, sexuality, and the way minority communities are represented, Motta has developed a practice that mines the past to offer a critical re-reading of the present. The exhibition at P•P•O•Wwill feature three works that span the arc of Motta’s career from 1998-2015.

Among the works on view will be Motta’s 2015 film Deseos / رغبات (Desires), which features a trans-historical correspondence between two women – Martina, who lived in Colombia during the late colonial period of the early 19th century and was tried for being a ‘hermaphrodite,’ and Nour, a woman from Beirut during the late Ottoman Empire who marries her female lover’s brother in an attempt to save her love. The film poetically exposes the ways in which the categories of gender and sexuality were dutifully constructed by scientific, legal, and religious discourses.Deseos / رغبات was co-written by Motta and Lebanese anthropologist Maya Mikdashi and commissioned and produced by Council (France) and co-produced by Hordaland Kunstsenter (Norway), Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (Argentina), Röda Sten Konsthall (Sweden), Galeria Filomena Soares (Portugal), Mor.Charpentier Galerie (France) and with further support from Ashkal Alwan (Lebanon), DICRéAM (France) and the Göteborg International Biennal for Contemporary Art (Sweden).

The exhibition will also present the 2014 installation of sculptures Towards a Homoerotic Historiography, an astonishing representative of Motta’s research on pre-Hispanic and colonial sexualities. The installation features 20 miniature gold-washed silver figures, all copies of sculptures created by indigenous groups in the Americas before the conquest. Displayed in museum-like vitrines, the pieces depict acts of homoerotic sex. The installation reflects on the ongoing censorship these objects have been subjected to by the social sciences and encourages a removal of the Christian values that have been imposed on them in order to reconsider of the role the body, desire, and pleasure may have played in ancient cultures.

Also on view will be a 1998 untitled series of photographic self-portraits, which feature Motta performing fictive characters for the camera in eerie, constructed landscapes. The images depict scenes where his body, sex, and gender are malleable props, transformed beyond recognition. In these early photographs – which have never been shown in a formal exhibition – Motta experiments with the representation of sexual alterity, the elasticity of identity, and the politics of difference, unknowingly anticipating the themes that he engages in his current practice.

In the words of David Getsy, who has contributed an essay to the exhibition’s catalog, Motta’s work “…is lyrical and ambitious, and he conjures historical characters that are complex in their agency and in their resistance to the systems of political and cultural power that sought to locate and control them. Motta creates moments of what one could call visionary identification.”

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Text | Activism, Visuality, and the Needs of Queer Youth by Carlos Motta, Journal of Visual Culture, April 2016

April 22, 2016

Activism, Visuality, and the Needs of Queer Youth by Carlos Motta

As LGBTI issues become visible within society there is a growing belief that society is ready to confront prejudices around sexuality and gender. But who is represented in these processes of visualization? The LGBTI agenda has focused on the defense of marriage, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, federal hate crime statutes and the Employment Non-discrimination Act. The political strategy around these issues has been defined by a moderate approach based on demanding inclusion into existing institutions. A look at the normalization of sexual politics reveals that minorities remain at the margins. I approached activists from QUEEROCRACY and immigration activist Felipe Baeza to discuss: What are the social issues young people care about ? What forms of activism do young people favor and what motivates them to organize? What forms of visuality do young queer activists use and how do these relate to the strategies of the previous generations?

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