Beatriz Cortez

Beatriz CortezArtist’s Statement

My work is about the memory of growing up in El Salvador and about migration. A critical aspect of my work is the experience of simultaneity: living in two places at once, San Salvador and Los Angeles, existing in different versions of modernity, in different cultural mind frames, moving back and forth within different technologies and different temporalities. I build machines that function as metaphors of this movement, time travel, and simultaneity. My time machines, memory machines, fortune teller machines, and pinball machines display crumbling versions of modernity and newer versions of modernity simultaneously. The ability to intervene in the chronological order of time is also important in my work. Additionally, I explore syncretism and simultaneity through vernacular or domestic architecture in the city of Los Angeles, which brings together modern and ancient forms of construction. It is a way of building that serves as a metaphor of cultural diversity, coexistence, and nomadism. My work evokes these constructions as it explores imagined buildings of the future. I consider memory as part of a process of transformation, movement, becoming other, nomadism. And so, I build memory in order to imagine possible futures.



Select Solo Exhibitions from 2013-2016

Nomad World, Vincent Price Art Museum, Los Angeles, California.
Los Angeles Vernacular: Space Capsule Interior, Monte Vista Projects, Los Angeles, California.
Your Life Work, Cerritos College Art Gallery, Norwalk, California.

The Time Machine, Grand Central Art Center, Santa Ana, California.

Select Group Exhibitions from 2013-2016

From the Earth to the Earth, Centro Cultural Metropolitano, Quito, Ecuador.
Customizing Language, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), Hollywood, California.

10, MARTE Contemporáneo, San Salvador, El Salvador.

Inquieta imagen / Restless Image, Museo de Arte y Diseño Contemporáneo, San José, Costa Rica.

Select Fellowships and Awards

California Community Foundation Fellowship for Visual Artists.

The Reef, Artist-in-Residence, Los Angeles, California.

Cerritos College Art + TECH Artist-in-Residence, Norwalk, California.

Guatemala después / Guatemala Afterwards, Public Engagement in Sites of Memory and Transformation, Ciudad imaginación, Quetzaltenango, Guatemala and the New School in New York City.

Select Community-based Artwork

Life and Memory of Patzicía, collective installation in the town of Patzicía, in collaboration with Kaqjay Moloj, Patzicía, Guatemala.
The Fortune Teller Machine, in collaboration with an anonymous group of migrants and border crossers, Los Angeles, California.


M.F.A., 2015
California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, California.

Ph.D., 1999
Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona.