Beatriz Cortez is a Los Angeles-based artist and scholar. She was born in El Salvador and has lived in the United States since 1989. Her work explores simultaneity, life in different temporalities and different versions of modernity, particularly in relation to memory and loss in the aftermath of war and the experience of migration, and in relation to imagining possible futures.
Our Roots / Nuestras raíces (2014-2019) enables the presence of the subterranean world to interact with the world we inhabit, on the surface of the Earth. Engaging with the idea that Indigenous peoples are often called our roots / nuestras raíces, in a gesture that pushes their existence towards the past and that erases them from the present and the future, this installation invites us to ponder the life that multiplies under the ground, the rhizomatic quality of roots, the great diversity of plants, their ability to transform remnants of other lives into nutrients and new life, and the existence of worlds that are beyond the human realm.
Cortez has exhibited her work nationally in Los Angeles; San Francisco; Marfa, Texas; Washington, D.C.; New York; Minneapolis; Miami; and Sheboygan, Wisconsin; and internationally in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Colombia, and China. She has received the 2019 Emergency Grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, the 2018 Rema Hort Mann Foundation Fellowship for Emerging Artists, the 2017 Artist Community Engagement Grant, and the 2016 California Community Foundation Fellowship for Visual Artists. She holds an MFA in Art from the California Institute of the Arts, and Ph.D. in Latin American literature from Arizona State University. She teaches in the Department of Central American Studies at California State University, Northridge.
Beatriz Cortez is represented by Commonwealth and Council.