Carmen Argote’s artistic practice is a response and conversation brought about through the process of inhabiting a space and responding to it. Her work is a direct result of the way in which her body and personal history can connect with the sites she engages with. For Argote, the effect of the architectures around her and their values are felt upon her body. As a multidisciplinary artist, Argote moves through materials and media. Enjoying the discourse and dwelling on the poetics of the queering of the everyday is what drives her visual explorations.
The work presented in the exhibition is a response to Bogota, where it was conceived and made. “It started with looking at the mapa topográfico. I became fascinated by the object because it was a translation of the landscape in relationship to scale and to the body. It allowed me to understand Bogota through a translation, giving me a little distance from the constant proximity of the mountain. I found it through the act of walking. I was inclined to work with natural materials because of the tension I felt between the mountain and the architecture of the city. I wanted a way to access nature through human translation. I was responding to a human processing of nature. Color extraction became the visual representation of that translation. A photograph is a process of abstracting light, time, and dimensionality. The photograph of the mapa topográfico revert the map making it more real/ closer to the landscape again.”
Carmen Argote (b. 1981, Guadalajara, Mexico) works in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles. She received her BA, in 2004, and MFA, in 2007, from University of California, Los Angeles. Her work has been exhibited at various institutions, including Ballon Rouge Collective, New York (2018); 18th Street Arts Center Artist Lab, Santa Monica (2018); Ballroom Marfa, Texas (2017); Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2017); Denver Art Museum (2017); Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, California (2017); National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago (2015); MAK Center, Los Angeles (2015); and Vincent Price Art Museum, Los Angeles (2013). She is a recipient of the Artadia Los Angeles Award (2019), the Nancy Graves Foundation Artist Grant (2018), the Rema Hort Mann Foundation YoYoYo Grant (2015) and California Community Foundation Emerging Artist Grant (2013).
Carmen Argote is represented by Commonwealth and Council, Los Angeles and Instituto de Vision, Bogota