Visual Arts

Carlos Motta


A black and white photo of Carlos Motta. Carlos is looking directly at the camera and has a short black beard and close cropped black hair.

Carlos Motta is a Colombian-born multidisciplinary artist based in New York. Motta’s practice centers on social and political issues of sexual, gender, and ethnic minority communities, and he works with these individuals and communities to challenge dominant narratives of both past and present.

For his residency project, Motta will create a new work that explores postcolonial subjectivity and democratic participation. He will hold conversations in the fall of 2021 with an interdisciplinary group of activists, scholars, and artists to debate the stakes of changing the name of Columbus, Ohio: a city founded in 1812 and named for the Spanish navigator and admiral Christopher Columbus. These conversations will inform his new work, which will illustrate the intersecting politics of patriarchal and colonial commemoration while it asks questions about the roles of monuments and memorials in the layered present-day process of attaining radical equity, diverse representation, and restorative justice. Can an alternative historical memory be constructed, and what roles might new or alternative tributes, monuments, and other types of memorialization have in changing the terms of historical narration and collective memory? How can these forms of symbolic commemoration be removed, revised, designed, created, and implemented critically?

Motta's residency project will premiere at the Wex in the fall of 2022 in an exhibition organized by Lucy I. Zimmerman, Associate Curator of Exhibitions at the center.

"I am grateful to have been invited by the Wexner Center for the Arts to create a new work in Columbus, Ohio and to present an exhibition at the museum as part of the Artist Residency Award series," says Motta. "The Wex is a perfect venue for such a project and for this vision given its cross-disciplinary interests. This unique opportunity will undoubtedly have a significant effect on my growth as an artist and on my career.

Pictured above: Carlos Motta
Photo by Cory Rice