Following L.A. County guidelines for COVID-19, the Hammer Museum is temporarily closed. More information.

A man with a construction mask around his chin stands in a concrete tube, looking up at the sky
Tours & Talks

rafa esparza: UCLA Department of Art Lecture

THURSDAY NOV 19, 2020 6:30 PM PST

rafa esparza is a Los Angeles–based multidisciplinary artist whose work reveals his interests in history, personal narratives, and kinship, as well as his own relationship to colonization and the disrupted genealogies that it produces. Using live performances as his main form of inquiry, esparza employs site-specificity, materiality, memory, and what he calls “(non)documentation” as primary tools to investigate and expose ideologies, power structures, and binary forms of identity that establish narratives, history, and social environments.

esparza’s recent projects are grounded in laboring with land and adobe-making, a skill learned from his father, Ramón Esparza. In so doing, the artist invites Brown and Queer cultural producers to realize large-scale collective projects, gathering people together to build networks of support outside of traditional art spaces.

esparza is a recipient of the Rema Hort Mann Foundation Emerging Artist Grant (2015), California Community Foundation Fellowship for Visual Arts (2014), and Art Matters Foundation grant (2014). Solo exhibitions have been held at MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA (2019); ArtPace, San Antonio, TX (2018); Atkinson Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA (2017); Ballroom Marfa, TX (2017); Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, CA (2015); Bowtie Project, Los Angeles (2015); and Vincent Price Art Museum, Monterey Park, CA (2013). esparza has performed at art institutions including Performance Space New York and the Ellipse, Washington, D.C. (2019); Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2018); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2018); the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2017); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2016); and Clockshop, Bowtie Project, Los Angeles (2014). Selected group shows were held at San Diego Art Institute, CA (2019); DiverseWorks, Houston, TX (2019); Craft Contemporary, Los Angeles (2019); GAMMA Galeria, Guadalajara, Mexico (2019); Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Omaha, NV (2017); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2017); LA><ART, CA (2017); PARTICIPANT, INC., New York (2016); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2016); Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena (2015); and Human Resources, Los Angeles (2013).

Please note that this event will be recorded. By attending, you grant the Hammer permission to use your image, statements, and actions in any medium or context without further authorization or compensation.
All public programs are free and made possible by a major gift from an anonymous donor. Generous support is also provided by Susan Bay Nimoy and Leonard Nimoy, Good Works Foundation and Laura Donnelley, the Elizabeth Bixby Janeway Foundation, The Samuel Goldwyn Foundation, an anonymous donor, and all Hammer members.
 
Readings are supported by GRoW @ Annenberg.
 
Digital presentation of Hammer public programs is made possible by The Billy and Audrey L. Wilder Foundation.
 
Hammer public programs are presented online in partnership with the #KeepThePromise campaign—a movement promoting social justice and human rights through the arts.