Marfa Dialogues

Candelilla, Coatlicue, and the Breathing Machine

April 5 – September 2019


Candelilla, Coatlicue, and the Breathing Machine

Opening reception: Friday, April 5 from 6–9pm

With a live performance by Rob Mazurek at 8pm


Ballroom Marfa is pleased to announce our spring exhibition, Candelilla, Coatlicue, and the Breathing Machine. The exhibition features newly commissioned and existing works by artists Beatriz Cortez, Candice Lin, and Fernando Palma Rodríguez. The title refers to a facet of each artist’s contribution to the show, which range from wax pours to robotic storytellers to provisional shelters and beyond.

On Friday, April 5 from 6–9pm, Ballroom will host an opening reception for the exhibition featuring a live concert from Marfa’s own multidisciplinary artist and electro-acoustic composer, Rob Mazurek. These events are free and open to the public.

The varied installations and objects from these three artists weave together a conversation about the animate qualities of land; human and non-human migrations & cross-pollinations; and the simultaneous existence of past, present, and future. Each artist spent time in Marfa and around the Big Bend, and these particular experiences and responses are reflected in the commissioned pieces.

New drawings from Candice Lin explore species common in the landscape around Marfa–cholla, creosote, ocotillo, among others–and were produced after the artist ingested tinctures she made of each of these plants. Lin will also create an immersive new installation conceived from her research on the biopolitics of the candelilla plant, whose distribution straddles the lower altitudes of the nearby US/Mexico border region.

Fernando Palma Rodríguez will make several new ‘mechatronic’ sculptures that address intersecting lands and histories in Texas and Mexico through choreographed spatial storytelling. These new pieces will be accompanied by existing kinetic works that will be re-programmed to respond both to elements in the gallery and to elements farther afield in the landscape.  

A new installation from Beatriz Cortez in Ballroom’s courtyard explores different versions of modernity, nomadic architectures, and the future imaginary via geodesic domes constructed from chain link, folded metal, and scrapped car hoods. Cortez will also create a new machine for the exhibition that marshals her skills with metalwork and engineering to create a hypocycloidal mechanism that mixes air–that breathes–thinking about plant respiration and the Infinite Mixture of Things, Past, Present, and Future.  

Altogether the exhibition puts these three important artists and their distinct bodies of work in conversation with and about lands, plants, and histories particular to U.S./Mexico border in West Texas. It facilitates the production of a slate of new objects and installations via Ballroom’s commissions, supporting new art, ideas and relationships.

Candelilla, Coatlicue, and the Breathing Machine is organized by Ballroom’s Director & Curator Laura Copelin.

    Candelilla, Coatlicue, and the Breathing Machine is made possible by the generous support of Kenneth Bauso; The Brown Foundation Inc.; City of Marfa; Fairfax Dorn & Marc Glimcher; Kristina & Jeff Fort; Lebermann Foundation; Virginia Lebermann & Family; George S. Loening; Max Mara; National Endowment for the Arts; Texas Commission of the Arts; the Ballroom Marfa Board of Trustees; the Ballroom Marfa International Surf Club; and Ballroom Marfa members.

    In-kind support provided by Big Bend Brewing Co.; Building 98 & the International Woman’s Foundation; Sandra Harper, Eliza, Sophia & Hamilton Fish; Mikelle & Michael Kruger; Christy Miller; Jayson Seidman; SAVED Wines; Tequila Casa Dragones; and Tito’s Handmade Vodka.

    Candelilla Coatlicue and the Breathing Machine

    Special thanks to Lalo Baeza, Yoseff Ben-Yehuda, Sondra Boone, Abby Boyd, Buró—Buró, Michael Camacho, Karla Canseco, Ross Cashiola, Vicente Celis, Young Chung, Brenden Cicoria, Commonwealth and Council, Jon Doe Davidson, Rowdy Dugan, Jake Eisenmann, Heidi Elliott, Jonah Emerson-Bell, Edgar Espinoza, David Fenster, Alejandra Fernández, Jim Fissel & Jim Martinez, Cuca Flores, Mona Garcia, François Ghebaly, Ginger Griffice, Kevin Guerrero, Tatiana Guerrero, Vanessa Guerrero, Mar Guevara, Asher Hartman, Zane Hayspell, House of Gaga, Matt Jones, Arthur Kaplan, Kibum Kim, Susan Kim, Raven Lu, Gabriela Magaña, Alex Marks, Jeff Matheis, Rob & Britt Mazurek, Faith Melgaard, Fernando Mesta, Jorge Munguía, Diana Nguyen, Jennifer Nicks, Elise Pepple, Susa Quinn, Carmen Rodríguez Meza, Ryan Rooney,Francisco Rosas,Isabel Sierra, Diana Simard, UNA Art Logistics, Gan Uyeda, Gory Smelley. And to our friends at Austin Art Services, the Big Bend Sentinel, The Chinati Foundation, Judd Foundation, and Marfa Public Radio. .