Exhibition - Timelines For The Future: Christine Howard Sandoval

Sunday, Feb 21, 2021 at 12:00pm

8371 North Interstate Avenue
Portland, OR 97217

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Disjecta Contemporary Art Center is proud to present TIMELINES FOR THE FUTURE: CHRISTINE HOWARD SANDOVAL, the first exhibition in Turnstones, Lucy Cotter's program as Curator in Residence 2020-21.

We already know where we exist in the land, how we have remained for thousands of years in the place of our ancestors. We are rising from the ground and literally toppling colonial structures and its monuments to genocide. The seeds of our future have always been alive and present, and are growing into visible manifestations of what we know to be the truth. - Christine Howard Sandoval

Christine Howard Sandoval’s practice revolves around the embodied act of walking on sites of precarious and contested land. Negotiating the material contours of urban and rural landscapes, their inherent layers of human memory, and their political and ecological stakes in the present, she seeks to un-learn things as they are. Through sustained artistic research, and working through video, drawing, and sculpture, she forges future imaginaries of place that emerge from competing records of human inhabitance.

Working with community members, anthropologists and scientists, and researching historical documents, Howard Sandoval often creates scripted narratives that are performed as voice-overs in videos that trace her laborious walking paths. Through an experimental use of film, she provides disorienting bodily perspectives that destabilize the norms of viewing, moving away from the photographic gaze and its extraction of images from place. Walking thus becomes an active form of knowledge creation. Embedded with site-specific materials, Howard Sandoval’s drawings and sculptures seek to counteract the distance and abstraction of cartography and its complicity with territorial imposition. Her archival constellations act as an unwinding of imaginaries in search of alternate forms of inhabitation and human agency.

The Disjecta exhibition will present a series of new and recent works that encompass these many facets of Howard Sandoval’s oeuvre. Channel (2016-19), a passage of sculpture, video installation, and mixed media drawings, addresses the complex relationship between Hispanic and Native agrarian histories and current riparian rights and land uses. Live Stream (2018) is a performance-based video that re-inscribes disappeared migratory paths and waterways in and around the site of the Acequia Madre in Taos, New Mexico; drawing on her research on ancient water democracies (Acequias). Filmed using a body-cam, the video work sets out to deflect the surveillance-oriented nature of this technology to create an embodied portrait which foregrounds invisible and contested narratives of human inhabitation.

Howard Sandoval’s latest project A wall is a shadow on the land (2020) un-tells the story of Spanish “missionization” by taking the departure point of her Chumash great-grandparents. Unfolding a history of enslaved laborers who built the missionary adobe structures along the Pacific Coast, her research teases out the material forms of this architecture and engages with modularized constructions built on top of Indigenous sacred sites and architectures from South America to Alta California. Through archival images and adobe drawings, Howard Sandoval re-maps these sites to work towards alternate political and material imaginaries.

TIMELINES FOR THE FUTURE: CHRISTINE HOWARD SANDOVAL is the first exhibition in Turnstones, Lucy Cotter’s program as Disjecta Curator in Residence 2020-21. “Turnstones” is a word found in a poem that, being unfamiliar, offers the freedom to imagine. It recalls how every structure that has sedimented over time contains another possibility and hopes to evoke that which becomes the means to an act of turning. Bringing together artists who refuse the available vocabulary and prefer to seek new frameworks, this season responds to a year of unprecedented crisis that marks a transition into the unknowable.

The exhibition will be open to the public from January 8 through February 21, 2021.

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