The Citizen is pleased to collaborate with SPECTRE Arts to present its inaugural project, a screening of a new video work by artist William Cordova, Silent parade…or The Soul Rebels Band vs. Robert E. Lee (2014, color, sound, 9:54).
William Cordova creates site-responsive work from re-purposed vernacular materials and actions, revealing the unofficial histories and lost narratives of indigenous cultures. In Silent parade..., a local eight-piece brass band performs on the rooftop of the former Louisiana ArtWorks building, dueling with a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, perched high above a traffic circle. Cordova states, "The project… focuses on re-framing history and making the invisible visible by contextualizing the origins of known and unknown historical events in New Orleans. The project reveals, scrutinizes and critiques the various forms they have taken; vernacular architecture, state sponsored monuments, music, folklore etc.” In juxtaposing a well-known symbolic figure of the civil war associated with the legacy of secession, slavery, and segregation with the powerful musical prowess of a New Orleans brass band, Cordova places the past in direct conversation with the present, inviting a reconsideration of how historical narratives around race and representation might otherwise be monumentally engaged.
William Cordova (born 1971 in Lima, Peru) lives and works in Lima, Miami and New York. He graduated with a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1996 and went on to earn an MFA from Yale University in 2004. Recent solo exhibitions of his work include smoke signals: viviendo pa’ la ciudad at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco (2012) and yawar mallku (royalty, abduction & exile) at La Conservera in Murcia, Spain (2011), his first solo exhibition in Europe. His work is in such public collections as the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Yale Art Gallery, New Haven; Museo de Arte de Lima, Peru; Ellipse Foundation, Cascais, Portugal; Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami; and La Casa de las Americas, Havana, Cuba; among others. He has held numerous residencies, most recently as a fellow at the American Academy in Berlin in 2013.
Silent parade... was created for the 2014 Prospect New Orleans Triennial, Prospect.3: Notes for Now.