Indepth Arts News: |
"William Cordova: You Shook Me All Night Long"
2002-03-22 until 2002-05-18
The unravelling and re-assembly of identity has long been urgent business for many artists. One of the hotbeds for this examination has been the arts scene in Miami, Florida, particularly as the city is a complex melting pot for the Americas. Peruvian-born, Miami-based William Cordova has been featured in exhibitions in Miami, Chicago, Tel Aviv and Rio de Janeiro.
In You Shook Me All Night Long, Cordova's first solo exhibition in Canada, the artist looks at identity, celebrity and representation, beginning with the stereotypes of Hispanic men in American culture. For Cordova, the media images of Hispanic men as seedy criminals are masterfully exposed as fabrications. Furthermore, through his film, video and photographic installations, the artist pushes our buttons about our complicity in perpetuating these myths.
The second set of work included in the exhibition takes these ideas to a more intimate level, as Cordova's series of small-scale drawings use a system of sparse personal symbols in an autobiographical treatment of his life. The subject matter and execution vibrate against each other like a dancer on a booming speaker: finely-rendered microphones and turntables create a record of music culture through an iconography of its tools. Rock and roll culture is the filter for Cordova's musings, even his shows carry titles from popular songs in a continuous recycling of meaning and reference and a sense of playfulness permeates the work even when serious issues are brought to the fore.