Gala Porras-Kim

Gala Porras-Kim

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CalArts Campus


Paul Brach Visiting Artist Lecture Series

Gala Porras-Kim's work questions how knowledge is acquired and tests the potential of the art object to function as an epistemological tool outside of its traditional historical context. Porras-Kim uses the social and political contexts that influence the representation of language and history to make art objects through the learning process. The work comes from a research-based practice that questions how intangible things: sounds, language and history, have been represented through different methodologies such as linguistics and conservation, taking into account the way in which people use the sounds that make up communication with an object. The artist speculates on the possible narratives of the objects, the potential stories of fragments that reintroduce the exhibition to the current modes of representation. Its condition as such is understood and processed as part of a logic in which the artistic gesture of reformulation gives new life to the narrative of objects that would otherwise be lost in history. Porras-Kim considers the limits of museum practices through the strategies of contemporary art and allows materials to move from their locations in drawers and vaults to a new logic of exhibition and cataloging. 

Porras-Kim was born in Bogotá, Colombia. Her work was shown at the Whitney Museum of Art 2019 Biennial and Ural Industrial 2019 Biennial. She has exhibited at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito, Commonwealth and Council in Los Angeles, LABOR in Mexico City, 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica, FRAC Pays de la Loire in France, Pereira Museum in Colombia, the Los Angeles Public Art Biennial, Made in LA Biennial, Hammer Museum and Ex Teresa in Mexico City and Serpentine Gallery in London. Porras-Kim is currently a Radcliffe fellow at Harvard University. She received the Artadia Award (2017), Rema Hort Mann Foundation Award (2017), Joan Mitchell Foundation Award (2016), Creative Capital Grant (2015), Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award (2015) and the California Community Foundation Fellowship (2013).