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Beatriz Cortez/Kang Seung Lee "Becoming Atmosphere" and "Building Networks"

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18th Street Arts Center (Airport Campus)

3026 Airport Avenue

Santa Monica, CA 90405

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Visit 18th Street's Airport Campus to view Beatriz Cortez and Kang Seung Lee's "Becoming Atmosphere" and "Building Networks of Empathy"

About this Event

Come visit two exhibitions opening this Fall at 18th Street's Airport Campus - Beatriz Cortez and Kang Seung Lee's "Becoming Atmosphere" (Oct 26 - Feb 5) and "Building Networks of Empathy" (Oct 26 - Dec 15).

These exhibitions are open by appointment only. Each time slot can accommodate groups of up to six individuals. All visitors are expected to check in at the front door, wear masks, and maintain a distance of 6 feet at all times from others who are not part of the same family group.


Becoming Atmosphere

Beatriz Cortez and Kang Seung Lee

Airport Gallery

October 26, 2020 - February 5, 2021

In Becoming Atmosphere, Beatriz Cortez and Kang Seung Lee imagine disappearance as a process of transformation, movement, nomadism, and becoming. Considering the final work of Gilles Deleuze, Pure Immanence: Essays on a Life, the artists imagine freeing the potentialities of a life from the constraints of identity.

Drawing from the writings of Emanuele Coccia, they consider the concept of the atmosphere as "the essence of cosmic fluidity, the deepest face of our world, the one that reveals it as the infinite mixture of all things, present, past, and future," and explore the idea of breathing as a statement against white supremacy.

There will be a virtual opening and artist talk on October 30, 2020 at 5pm. Please click here to register:


Beatriz Cortez is an artist and scholar based in Los Angeles, CA. She migrated from El Salvador in 1989. Her work explores simultaneity, life in different temporalities and different versions of modernity, memory, and loss in the aftermath of war and the experience of immigration, and imaginaries of the future.

Cortez has had solo exhibitions at the Craft Contemporary Museum (2019), Clockshop (2018), Occidental College (2018), the Vincent Price Art Museum (2016), Cerritos College Art Gallery (2016), Monte Vista Projects (2016), in Los Angeles; at the Grand Central Arts Center in Santa Ana, CA; and at the Museo Municipal Tecleño de El Salvador (2012). Selected group exhibitions include Queens Museum (2019) and Socrates Sculpture Park in New York, NY (2019); Ballroom Marfa, in Marfa, TX (2019 and 2017); Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, WI (2019); Made in LA 2018 at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles (2018); Commonwealth and Council in Los Angeles (2018); BANK/MABSOCIETY in Shanghai, China (2017); UCR ARTSblock in Riverside, CA (2017); the California Pacific Triennial at OCMA in Newport Harbor, CA (2017); and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, NY (2017). She has received the Contemporary Arts Foundation Emergency Grant (2019), the Rema Hort Mann Foundation Fellowship for Emerging Artists (2018), the Artists Community Engagement Grant (2017), the California Community Foundation Fellowship for Visual Artists (2016). She received an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) and a doctorate from Arizona State University. She teaches in the Department of Central American Studies at California State University, Northridge.

Kang Seung Lee is a multidisciplinary artist who was born in South Korea and now lives and works in Los Angeles. His work explores the possibilities of creating critical, cross-cultural and queer histories by emphasizing marginalized individual experiences and personal histories that challenge singular mainstream knowledge/history. He works in primarily labor-intensive media such as graphite drawings, embroidery, collecting, multimedia installations, etc.

Lee has had solo exhibitions at One and J. Gallery, Seoul, South Korea (2018); Artpace, San Antonio, TX (2017); Commonwealth and Council, Los Angeles, CA (2017, 2016); Los Angeles Contemporary Archive, Los Angeles, CA (2016); Pitzer College Art Galleries, Claremont, CA (2015); Centro Cultural Border, Mexico City, Mexico (2012). Selected group exhibitions include National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul (2020); Daelim Museum, Seoul (2020); Asia Culture Center, Gwangju (2020); Palm Springs Art Museum, CA (2019); Participant Inc, NY (2019); LAXART, Los Angeles, CA (2017); DiverseWorks, Houston, TX (2017); Centro Cultural Metropolitano, Quito, Ecuador (2016); Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA (2014); and Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC (2012). Lee is the recipient of the California Community Foundation Fellowship for Visual Artists (2019), the Rema Hort Mann Foundation grant (2018), and Artpace San Antonio International Artist-in-Residence program (2017). His work has been reviewed and featured in Artforum, The New York Times, Frieze, New York Magazine, Artnet, LA Weekly, Hyperallergic, among others. He received an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts).

[caption: Tzolk’in, Beatriz Cortez, 2018.]


Building Networks of Empathy

North and South Galleries

October 26 - December 15, 2020

The exhibition Building Networks of Empathy is the second of a two-part show that asks us to consider the ways in which art empowers not only the artist, but its viewers to transform their most difficult experiences into enlightened outcomes. The first part of the show is an ongoing online-only exhibition entitled Facing Darkness, which encouraged artists in our community to reflect internally on our current moment of pandemic, isolation, and structural inequity laid bare.

For this second part, which will be physically installed in 18th Street Arts Center’s spacious Airport campus hangar galleries, artists were asked to respond to how they have changed as a result of their inner reflections on darkness, and to imagine new futures and societal structures as we see our way out of crisis. Each artist grapples as well with the role that art can play in social reflection, expression, and cultural paradigm shifts as a result of a deeper understanding of each other, and the empathy that follows.

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18th Street Arts Center (Airport Campus)

3026 Airport Avenue

Santa Monica, CA 90405

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