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Beatriz Cortez and Kang Seung Lee | Becoming Atmosphere | Artist Talk

October 30, 2020 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm


Artist Talk on Becoming Atmosphere
Beatriz Cortez and Kang Seung Lee

October 30, 2020 | 5 PM
Zoom webinar

Becoming Atmosphere: Artist Talk with Beatriz Cortez and Kang Seung Lee from 18th Street Arts Center on Vimeo.


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.

In this exhibition opening event, the artists discuss their new work in 18th Street Arts Center’s Airport Gallery, their collaboration, and how they are responding to the current moment.

The exhibition will be on view from October 26, 2020 – February 5, 2021, and will be available for viewing in person by appointment only until COVID restrictions relax. More information to come soon.

The exhibition may be viewed by appointment only. Appointment slots are 10am, 1pm, and 2pm M-F or by request.


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).


October 30, 2020
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
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